Episode 013 Joe DeMattos, CEO HFAM

February 15, 2018

An accomplished not-for-profit association CEO with a proven track record of accomplishment in building championship teams, increasing revenue, and managing risk, and building brand and value.

Directly leads advocacy on behalf of a provider industry that supports nearly $6 billion in annual statewide business sales, more than $3 billion in direct employee compensation, and employs over 36,000 people throughout Maryland.



  • Create a compelling 'Why' because why's create musts
  • Great leaders are great listeners
  • Recognize there are no perfect leaders
  • Surround yourself with smart people




Episode 012 Mike Shelah CEO at Mike Shelah Consulting

January 27, 2018

In 2011, Mike began sharing his insights and perspectives with audiences throughout Maryland. In 2015, He founded Mike Shelah Consulting to work directly with companies and sales professionals across the United States. Mike is a frequent podcast guest and can be seen on Fox45 in Baltimore.  A resident of Westminster Maryland since 2005, Mike is a dedicated: husband, father and community advocate.

Podcast Highlights

  1. Effective sales managers have a willingness to listen to their salespeople
  2. It's a great feeling when someone pays me for my mind
  3. There is a direct correlation between emotional intelligence and sales success
  4. Your perspective is shaped by your beliefs
  5. Sales success comes from managing the expectations of your boss, your customers and yourself

Connect with Mike




Episode 011 Doug Miller, CEO, Strategic Sales Search

January 11, 2018

Doug Miller is the CEO at Strategic Sales Search. Strategic Sales Search has helped technology companies build world-class sales and marketing teams. We help companies find a hidden talent pool of sales and marketing pro’s every day. These highly effective pros are hidden because they are blind to job boards and postings because they are too busy making quota.



Never give up. Always keep going

Go early, stay late and hard work. This is how you achieve greatness

Build an effective sales process and continually improve it

Your mindset is a key to success

Connect with Doug



 Podcast Transcript


Hello, everyone, I'm really happy today to have Doug Miller the C.E.O. of Strategic Sales Search. Doug welcome to the program.

Douglas. Thank you.

Host. So Doug in ninety seconds tell us who you are and what you do?

Douglas. So I run a thirty-year-old search firm that specializes in placing sales pre-sales marketing talent and leadership talent with technology companies, and we’ve been in it for a long time and we really help tech companies build world-class sales teams that accelerate revenue and increase stakeholder value.

Host. So one of the things I was looking at Doug was that it turns out there are three hundred thousand plus recruiters in the US. How do you rank up?

Douglas. I'm in the Top seventy-five it's the pinnacle society it's the top tier of that industry.

Host. Like the top one percent of the one percent.

Douglas. The top one percent yes exactly.

Host. So Douglas tell us who's your favorite superhero?

Douglas. If Rocky counts as a superhero he would probably be my the early rocky not the not the …

Host. Right so what do you like, what spoke to you about that character?

Douglas. I’m always a fan of the underdog. Always a fan of people who keep getting up no matter how hard it is.

Host. So Doug what motivates you?

Douglas. I mean I'm driven by you know a lot of things that drive other people but especially driven by making an impact making a difference in the world to make a difference in the world that we can influence.

Host. So we all have mentors and a bunch of them, who is someone that stands out for you?

Douglas. So I was one of those lucky kids who had an awesome family and my dad was always you know my main mentor forever.

Host. So what was the attribute he had that spoke to you?

Douglas. He was a real-life Rocky, he was the you know, the underdog. It wasn't you know from a little town in West Virginia you know it's one of those kinds of stories that. did some big things and I’m proud to be a son and he was always someone I looked up to.
Host. Brilliant, so Doug if you could have lunch with somebody alive today or somebody from history would that be and what would you ask them?

Douglas. This is probably a little crazy but I would like to sit down, I would like to have lunch with Lincoln just to see what that was like day-to-day going through that period.

Host. That adventure and what was the attribute that speaks to you?

Douglas. He was another one just against all odds, kept going I don’t know how many times actually lost different elections


Episode 010 Fred Diamond, Co-founder, Institute for Excellence in Sales shares the 3 questions that lead to success

January 3, 2018

Fred Diamond is the co-founder and executive director at The Institute for Excellence in Sales (IES). TheIES strives to help sales professionals and leaders — no matter where they are in their careers — with world-class education and tools to increase their success. Service professionals get the tools they need to gain skills in the art and science of selling and generating revenues. The IES is the sales executive’s primary authority and resource for training, programs, and services. Sales professionals also benefit from an active community to build their networks to grow their careers and sales.



  • Sell more by helping your customers achieve their business goals
  • Successful salespeople treat sales as a profession and are continually learning
  • Great sales leaders give their salespeople space to do their work and coach them to do better
  • The best way to retain sales talent is to continually help them achieve their goals

Connect With Fred






Episode 009 Ken Rochon, Visionary at The Umbrella Syndicate shares the 3 questions that lead to success

December 18, 2017

Ken Rochon is an accomplished entrepreneur of over 30 years with Absolute Entertainment, published author of eight books, including Becoming the Perfect Networker, Succeeding 1 Connection @ a Time, global fusion DJ, founder of Perfect World Network/Perfect Networker, photographer, world traveler, and recipient of America’s Most Influential Business Connector of 2010. 



  1. Living a purpose driven life gives you the passion to build something great.
  2. Your most important asset is your character.
  3. Keep going never give up.
  4. Success comes from anticipating your customer's need.
  5. 3 things you can do to get people out of slump:
  • Talk to them
  • Inspire them
  • Help them get a go fwd plan and coach them through it 

Connect with Ken



Here is a transcription of this podcast:

UMAR HAMEED: Hello everyone welcome to the no limit selling podcast and today I’m honored to have Ken Rochon of the Umbrella syndicate. Ken, tell us who you are and what you do?

KEN ROCHON: Well, the main thing we do is we help leaders amplify their message and we’re dealing with authors, speakers, and leaders; we help them with events for promoting. We also help them with creating books or something that’s going to create a legacy or a lead generation item.

UMAR HAMEED: That's pretty brilliant because there's like a gazillion people out there that know that they have a book within them but have no capacity to get it out in a way that somebody would want to read it.

KEN ROCHON: And the other part about it is that when you get the book out you forget that no one knows the book exists so there is the other part of marketing letting and people know that not only the book exists but it also solves a problem and that problem will get the sales happening.

UMAR HAMEED: Absolutely, so like if a tree falls in the forest. If somebody publishes a book will someone ever know it exists, and you help them do that.


UMAR HAMEED: So, Ken to give us a better sense of who you are? Who is your favourite superhero? And why?

KEN ROCHON: You know I have been thinking about that since the beginning of this year and I'll tell you it’s probably Superman. And I know that's probably just too predictable, but Superman is just a good guy and he really is trying to solve problems. And I think he has a good heart. All these other guys they have these, I think…and they don't rub the right way with me, so I think Superman.

UMAR HAMEED: Superman it is. So Ken, what motivates you? You are doing a lot of stuff. What keeps you motivated? Keeps you going?

KEN ROCHON: Well, I used to think what motivated me was having a productive day, so I own an entertainment company and low and behold about 2005 my mom came down with Dementia which leaded to Alzheimer's and I started having a lot of questions about what is my purpose. And honestly, if my mom hadn’t had Alzheimer’s, I don’t think that would have been a question that was in the forefront of my mind. So, what is a purpose driven life to me is actually leaving a legacy and helping other people do so.

UMAR HAMEED: That’s brilliant. So, Ken who is your mentor?

KEN ROCHON: I have several. One is a gentleman, that I just had on my show this morning and his name is Berry Shewer and he's very purpose driven. He has an app that is called "Delighted" and if you use delighted to make your purchases you actually give 2% to the philanthropy or cause or movement that you desire without any cost to yourself and his goal is to reach a billion dollars by having the world use his app at no expense on them. and then his "Keep Smiling Movement” I think you can see that with his keep smiling card Its been something that I've not only embrace but have caused the rest of the world to notice. So, Berry Shrewer is a very important man to remember. My dad is the other one from a standpoint that he keeps me really in tune with what is the most important asset that you have which is your character and as I bring up my son in a weird way he becomes a residual of that mentorship.

UMAR HAMEED: Yeah, that's brilliant. So, you just pass on the knowledge?


Umar Hameed: So who would you like to have lunch with Ken? Somebody from history, someone you know, someone you know of. Who would that be and what would you ask them?

KEN ROCHON: Well I suppose if that was a living person, I would say Sir Richard Branson just because he's a rebel and he's defied the odds. He's lived the life he wanted to live, and I think just getting into his hearing and him seeing how pure my heart is, I think I would get his friendship and more importantly his advisement on how to be more powerful with where my thoughts are and my vision of making a difference.

UMAR HAMEED: Yes, this is all about a matter of perspective and sometimes you just can't get the perspective you need unless you have somebody that's walked a different path and they can go "Ken, why aren't you doing this?" "Be bolder"

KEN ROCHON: Well, I know this is an interview where you’re asking the questions, but could I ask a question to you?

UMAR HAMEED: Of course.

KEN ROCHON: Who would you want to meet?

UMAR HAMEED: The only person I'd want to meet is Tesla. Nikola Tesla is one of my heroes, and...... It's seen the world, what it could be is pretty amazing.

KEN ROCHON: Right. That's a great answer

UMAR HAMEED: Not many people know this, but the first X-ray taken, I'm not sure if it’s the first but according to the biography of Tesla he had the Tesla coil with those high voltage snaps that also release x rays and, so he had a film in front of his friend Mark Twain and Mark Twain was the first person to get x-rayed. Isn't that amazing?

KEN ROCHON: That is awesome.

UMAR HAMEED: So tell about your first sales job. What was it and how did you like it?

KEN ROCHON: I think I liked it. It was at Sears Roebuck Company, I was in my teens going to college and It was selling electronics. Since I was a DJ at the time I looked at it as a way as getting discounts and learning more about the electronics field and they had a photography department which used a heck out of for my travel, so I think that first sales job did its job. It taught me how to sell. I was the number one part-time salesperson there and it was really teaching me that people want to be heard and they want to know that the value and the problem they want to solve is not something they are going to regret later so I just acted as if I was them.

UMAR HAMEED: Brilliant, walk in their shoes. So, what’s the best deal you've ever done?

KEN ROCHON: I would say they're coming because they are in the work right now. I'll share them with you and they're not deals yet because they have not happened yet but I'm working on a deal with a gentleman who has a jet company and my hope is that I can build his influence magazine for his members. He has about 300 members for his jet. And If this happens I would have lots of rides on jets which would save me a lot of air travel from other events and I would be able to something that is very purpose-driven, and I'd be able to hang with movers and shakers because these are people that are flying 25 thousand and 40 thousand-dollar seats. I will tell you I'm learning a lot from this deal because this has been two months and today I did my tenth communication with them and the deal is not south and it’s also not happening but it's in the works.

UMAR HAMEED: It’s a process and yes, just keeps on going. It's like one of the things that.....separate people that are highly successful and the ones that are not is that they are built to stay on course and just keep going.

KEN ROCHON: Well that particular question I anticipated based on our earlier conversation that was going to happen and I would say that most of my deals are 10000 or less. I have three potential $100.000 deals happening right now and so none of them are in the bag, but they are the ones I'm most interested in.

UMAR HAMEED: Why? I don't get it but anyway. So, who's the best sales Manager you ever had and what attribute? So it’s either Sales Manager or Leader and what was the attribute they had that support to you?

KEN ROCHON: I actually have not had a great Sales manager that I can recall but I also haven’t worked for many sales managers to be fair, but I have worked for a lot of leaders an through my RTC I had a major that taught about how you sacrifice yourself and about you are the person that shows that you want to do whatever you ask others to do. And I remember one time in a field exercise a grenade ....one of those fake grenades, they got loosed and he actually jumped on a grenade on his belly. Damaged could have happened, fortunately, it did not go off, but he didn't know that.

UMAR HAMEED: He walked his talk.

KEN ROCHON: He walked his talk.

UMAR HAMEED: That's integrity, it's important.


UMAR HAMEED: So, in your career tell me about your come to Jesus moment where you had like to rethink what you are doing or re-evaluate or take a new path.

KEN ROCHON: Two of them. One I reference with my DJ

UMAR HAMEED: There weren't two coming of Christ. We’re waiting for the second you've had two of yours. That's nice.

KEN ROCHON: Well one is to reiterate about what I was saying about my mom passing when I was watching her pass and taking care of her with my dad and I really did ask the question how important is DJ and how important is doing weddings every weekend and there is the point when you say, "I don't know if it is " And so how many lives am I impacting or affecting. So, when I left Deejaying and my mom had passed I wrote my first book. It was called: “Becoming a Perfect Networker...... Succeeding 1 Connection at A Time" and without that book happening, I don't know if I would have loved publishing because I certainly hated that experience.

UMAR HAMEED: Oh It’s horrible. Isn’t it?

KEN ROCHON: It’s a horrible experience:

UMAR HAMEED: Especially when it is to meet the editor finally. You think you've sweated, bled you have not until the editor says, "What’s this shit?"

KEN ROCHON: Yes, the only thing I think is honestly worst is probably delivering a child, but since I'll never know what exactly, I'll just say a book is a nice second. But the other Come to Jesus moment was really last year I was doing so many great things with the Umbrella Syndicate except for one thing in the world and that was making money and I heard you have to do that with a business otherwise It's a hobby. So, my Come to Jesus moment was that I had to create a system to monetize it, so we went back home, and we are now creating something that's quite magical right now and I have three people that are very system oriented and so

UMAR HAMEED: That helps. You're the visionary

KEN ROCHON: Exactly, and so I didn't have the right team members and so that was a come to Jesus moment for me.

UMAR HAMEED: Nice, have you ever had a deal that you saved from the jaws of death?

KEN ROCHON: .....From the light of the jaws of death that you're going to lose it many


KEN ROCHON: I'll start off with the ones that build my deejay service which was "Hey Umar, so you are having a deejay event in four weeks. I’d love to be your Deejay this is my price and I need to hear back from you the next day. So, I would call you the following day and what are you thinking knowing you are not going with me and then I would say I'll do your event for free so that's called saving. But more recently it’s really about negotiating what people don't want to spend in order to get what you want so you are in the doors, so you can do future business with them. So, I call that I take jobs away from other people that they may not know that it's just a transaction, I want to develop a relationship, so I did a short of half million dollars last year in barter and for instance, you’re a recipient of that whenever I go to your events, you're not paying me I'm a sponsor. That sponsorship has a value. It’s an In-kind sponsorship and it has a true value because you acknowledge me in front of people I get to meet people at your events and I get to learn and here I am today I would say this is a very big reward for two events that I’ve done with you. We get a chance to talk and say, “Why don't you be on my show which is happening next Monday and I'm going to be on your show" And this is all about just thinking about how we give value to people.

UMAR HAMEED: Absolutely....So looking at sales in general, what do you think the biggest challenge in sale is, in this day and age of Social Media and everyone moving at the speed of light and Globalization. What is the biggest challenge, sales people face in sales?

KEN ROCHON: Can I use your answer? You have got to be able to address the need of the customer so quickly that they are so satisfied that they don't want to look at anyone else at all. And if you don't do that you will probably lose the job because someone else going to do that. And that’s probably the biggest focus you have to have now in sales.

UMAR HAMEED: So, what I'm hearing you say is that "You have to anticipate the needs of customers and deliver beyond and that way you retain customers and grow and if you're not doing that. Someone's going to eat your lunch.

KEN ROCHON: That is true. and just restating and possible more simply is the first person to reach that customer and say what’s important to you and I promise that what’s important to you, I can take care of that important thing and here's my proof that I can take care of that important thing and the price I'm going to give you is considerably fair. I think they are going to say, "You know what, I got other things to do this is the right person"

UMAR HAMEED: Brilliant. So, what’s the best advice you've ever gotten?

KEN ROCHON: This is so corny, but be honest and treat a customer like you want to be treated. So, when I started my deejay service, I asked three questions..... At eighteen, this is kind of looking back and say, 'Wow that was actually pretty smart" because I use those three questions every time I open up a new business and it was 1. What I want to own it? 2. What I want to work for it? 3. What I want to hire? And If I couldn't answer yes to those emphatically, there's something wrong with the puzzle. Because you either have a retention problem, or you have a boredom problem, or you have a client problem, because that sale is full of problems.

UMAR HAMEED: So just kind of digging deeper into that. Most people would assume whatever they are selling whatever they are doing, that they are doing in the right fashion and the right way for the right people. But the reality is unless you ask that question you don't know the answers to that. If you assume the answers are going to be Yes, I'm perfect. When you ask the question "Would I hire myself, and you go, yes but...." That's the thing you need to fix.

KEN ROCHON: Yes. And you know the answers to that was actually No in some of these categories which I had to fix.

UMAR HAMEED: So, give me an example of one those.

KEN ROCHON: Ok. So, NO was "Why would I hire you? You're 19" That's when I started my company. I was 18 So I said I had have three USP’s that are so phenomenal that 19 is not a factor anymore that anyone looked at my age. I even had a baby face back then, so I probably looked like I was 12 when I was 19. So, I came up with I’ll be the only one with a full-time company, I'd be the only one that had a full-time office and I would do Demos, so people could know what they are getting. Most Deejays, and it’s even true of today. You called them, and you meet them for coffee and when you meet them for coffee, your coffee and their personality sells the job, not knowing what the equipment is, not knowing their music knowledge not knowing their mixing ability or anything. So, when I did this stuff in front of them, they said "Yes, that’s the experience we want to have"

UMAR HAMEED: Brilliant. So going back to that, I was talking to this gentleman, his name is Elliot at the Strathmore, and so they had to raise a ton of dollar to make that happen.


UMAR HAMEED: I think it was a hundred million dollars or something and so one of the things they used was that they got the artist rendering of what it would look like to be looking at the stage. They purchased two seats that were actually going to go into the facility when it was done. And "do you remember during the olden days when they had these things called "Records" and they had this plastic dome above the record station that only you could hear the music underneath the dome. People around you couldn't"

KEN ROCHON: Yep that's right

UMAR HAMEED: So, they got these two seats looking at the rendering of what the theatre is going to look like, and they had classical music raining down upon them and they say they got fatter cheques because people could just imagine. It was like being there, and what you did for your clients was not "This is what I'll do, but let me show you what I' can do"

KEN ROCHON: The experience.

UMAR HAMEED: The experience sells.

KEN ROCHON: And then as time went by. The experience became the way of creating a social proof because they said the experience was valid.


KEN ROCHON: So, I was able to say we don't just give you the experience we prove the experience happens again.

UMAR HAMEED: So, one of the things you mentioned Ken was that now you have the right partners. You don't have any employees per se' but you have partners.

KEN ROCHON: We have some employees, but we have more partners than employees probably.

UMAR HAMEED: So, tell me about, how do you know that you are picking right employees or the right partner. What do you look for, to know that you've got the right person because everyone looks pretty on paper?

KEN ROCHON: Yes, so that comes to values and it come to conversations where you understand that there is going to be a partnership and I think the secret of a partnership if you are going to have that conversation with someone and say "Listen, I'm in this for the long haul and I'm going to compete with you to give you more unconditionally that what you can give me and what I mean by that is I'm not going to keep track of points, I'm really going to be there for you " And you got to give a test period about three months. You don’t just sign the papers and say "Hey, Good Luck and everything. And you also really need to look at what the shortcomings are of that partner so that they come out now and not later and you’d say this is how we would fix these shortcomings. So, one of my shortcomings is, I'm not a detailed guy. I just don’t do well with it. And ....I am not punctual all the time. Those are things. So, you just let that stuff out and then if that means a lot to the partner you have to adjust yourself, but you have to let people know what your weaknesses are.

UMAR HAMEED: Yeah. But I think it comes back to ...Sometimes...when people get married.... They know they can change the other person, And I was like "No, you can’t"

KEN ROCHON: No, you can’t

UMAR HAMEED: But if you know what the reality is, and you can live with it

KEN ROCHON: Yeah. I'll give you an example of something that interesting is, the way I ran my company back in the day, is if you are creating sales. I honestly didn't know how, and I didn't care how you created them as long as the sales stuck. Meaning, the clients never came back and said: "they sold me this and I did not get this" So if someone did, let's say $10,000 in sales that week and they only worked two hours, but another person did forty hours and did $4,000. I really like the person that did the two hours work.

UMAR HAMEED: Yes. Makes sense

KEN ROCHON: And so, that's result based leadership. And so, I say that because that's how when I'm running late I may actually create a result that could only happen because I made that extra phone call, and I knew I was dicing a little bit, but when you're juggling and your productive sometimes timing is not thought of as much as the result.

UMAR HAMEED: Right.... Makes sense....So...Ken, sometimes you come across people that are your employees or friends or families that get into a slump. How do you help people get out of a slump?

KEN ROCHON: I think there are probably three ways to do it. One is to have a conversation about what's going on in their life right now. The other one is having them come with you and give them that inspiration and get them more on that mindset because as you know it’s typically when you are in that slump your mindset is actually feeding that.

UMAR HAMEED: Right. It deepens it.

KEN ROCHON: So, there's something going on so they're probably not hanging with the right people and having the right experiences. So, getting in their world and getting them out of their world by having them hanging with you or putting them with someone that’s more upbeat, surrounding them with the right type of communication. And then, Three, I think role-playing Just say "Hey, let me hear what you're doing because we change as we think we are evolving and sometimes that changes not, actually evolving. It’s like we're cutting things out. So, if you have this thing that the seventh thing you have is really your closing piece and you have ten things you say and the seventh was pulled out because you're in a slump. That’s notice, and you say, "What happened to Number 7?" And so, I think those things are going to help a lot.

UMAR HAMEED: So, What I hear you saying is, if you find someone in a slump. The first thing you do is take them out of their environment..... You get them some positive motivation or guidance and then your role plays to really understand what’s going on so you can give them proper coaching to kind of move forward and just re-focusing their attention on better results, is the best way to get that change?

KEN ROCHON: Yes and just to expand that the book I did when you're in is it keep smiling shift happens is, the shift is what has to happen. Because when you are in a slump you’re going to continue to be in a slump until you shift. And I think it’s really amazing that is the only thing that is stopping you is you just continue in this mindset that's driving you down instead of changing it.

UMAR HAMEED: Yep. And it’s so easy to do for other people. Like why don't to just change that? But when you are in it yourself, it is tough to see. That's why God invented spouses.
So how important is having the right mindset to success?

KEN ROCHON: I'm going to say it’s worthless, it's meaningless.....

UMAR HAMEED: It’s horrible.

KEN ROCHON: Laughing. You know again that Keep Smiling book it is actually a book I wrote for myself. Sometimes we write for ourselves in order to help ourselves and then we give it to others. But when I was going through that period of time that I wasn't monetizing it the right way I can tell you we were losing thousands of dollars every month personally and business-wise. I really had to either believe in what I was doing or just say this is not for me and move on to something else. So, i got up every day believing this was the right path and that cause me to meet the right people which are my partners now.

UMAR HAMEED: Brilliant... It kind of goes back to the outage. It’s like you know that you teach what you need to learn. And I help people break through their barriers, so they become “awesomer” and I look at myself saying "oh my God" where am I stuck?

KEN ROCHON: You know there is another thing about the slump I wanted to say the Henry Ford code, where they think you can or you can’t get it wrong. You’re right, because when you're in a slump they’re actually saying this is continuing and, so they prove it right. They go "see I told you".

UMAR HAMEED: Yep.... so, in my world, our beliefs dictate who we are and our beliefs of self-fulling prophecies and if you believe that the world is out to get you, it is.


UMAR HAMEED: So, what’s something you know now Ken that you wish you knew 10 years ago?

KEN ROCHON: I wish I knew that's when I was partnering with someone what their ultimate belief system is and what their partnership works or not. Because it’s funny but people that don’t believe in partnerships again will prove they don't work and 80% or more people I don't think to believe partnerships because they have had bad partnerships. And it takes only one thing in a lot of things to ruin something. And if you have a mindset where that was wrong Umar it's not working for me let’s just call it a bad partnership. That’s the type of partnership that will never work. Because that’s not a working on a partnership. Whereas someone that actually is in that 1% or maybe up to 20% says hey Umar we have to have a conversation, we committed ourselves to we're going to be great partners and I’m committed to that and i know you are just one thing that you are doing is actually holding us back. Can we work on that? And that’s a different conversation. So, one. I think is of love and the other one is of scared city or fear.

UMAR HAMEED: Fear. The opposite of love is not hate its fear.

KEN ROCHON: Right. That’s why I didn’t chose hate I agree with you. And I think that’s the reason partnerships don’t work, is so many of them operate in fear of I’m doing more than that person. I'm afraid that I’m going to exhaust..... and all these things are working against you instead of what you're creating together.

UMAR HAMEED: So, Ken it'd be fear to say that you probably meet more people than the average bear, right?

KEN ROCHON: Maybe even squirrel.

UMAR HAMEED: Yep. So, you also meet a lot of people that aren't living up to their potential, that have the resources, have the passion have the drive but just aren't getting the results that they want, what do you think, what’s that piece of advice you could give those people? Why do you think that people get stuck? What is the disconnect?

KEN ROCHON: I think that the biggest disconnect is their reality. Which is I have to do this and if I get out of this zone I’m not going to have enough or I’m going to fail so it goes back to fear which is what we talked about earlier. What I’m doing it takes courage being an entrepreneur it takes courage. What you are doing you know developing something new in Baltimore, it takes courage I don't know any other word how to put it. So those that are not living their potential are not being courageous and they are living in fear. It’s not to say that I’m not in fear myself, it’s that I have to overcome it.

UMAR HAMEED: And that's where the definition of courage is it’s not a lack of fear it’s like moving in spite of fear. I came across this brilliant advice the other day it was a Tv show and this is geeky kid and he said look when I come across something really scary like theirs a really pretty girl'' and he's about seven or eight "and what I really want to do is get on my bike and go the opposite direction as fast as I can I trick myself and go in the direction of the girl and that way I overcome it. So that's what we need to do is overcoming fear.

KEN ROCHON: Yea and I think a lot of it comes down to, is someone wanting to live their full potential because they may not want to. I’m not living my full potential.

UMAR HAMEED: So, I really think that a lot of people don’t know the heart of, who we are, we need to know what our purpose is. Why are we here, what’s the difference we want to make and once you figure that out, then you can pick a goal worthy of you along that path? some of the times people pick goals I want to be a millionaire or I want a business like this or I want to do this but if they knew what their purpose was they could pick a goal that's on purpose and that way has more power because that’s what you were put on this planet to do .

KEN ROCHON: And I love your last conference because I went deep in that and I was so on point because if you don’t attach the purpose to its just this flagrant little goal that was just kind of wishy washy and it just dissipates.

UMAR HAMEED: Because its way too many people that are 40s and 50s that have this life that they built that looking from the outside is a successful life and they are wondering how did I get here because I never wanted to be a lawyer a doctor a surgeon or whatever and the reason they know that is because they are making a tone of doe, but they are not happy. And so, if you can find purpose you build something that inspires you ....

KEN ROCHON: You actually hit something with me about a movie that I saw I don't know the name of it we can always put that in the link later but the guy gets fired and he's been at this job for a very long time getting paid enormous amount of money but they are doing cut backs and the guy who is firing him says 'I want to ask you a question is this what you want to do with your life?" And he says, "no this is not what I want to do." So, he says "what do you want to do?" I think it was a George Cluny movie. And the guy says I want to do this with my life and the he says and why didn’t you? And he says because I took this job because its stable and he says you do realize after you leave, and you have time not today but later you will thank me for what i did because it’s not too late to do what you want to do with your life.

UMAR HAMEED: Yep. It’s never too late.


UMAR HAMEED: So, just before we part company Ken, what’s one book you'd recommend for folks to read?

KEN ROCHON: I'm not going to say the predictable. I have over two thousand books in my library and I will say a somewhat predictable one, any by Malcolm Gladwell, but Tipping Point first. And I say that from a stand point that, so many people get a great start in life on what they want their dream to be and they don’t wait for the results to kick in and the tipping point is that it takes nine months to years to see the result from what you did. That you're going to exhaust yourself and I have not thought of anything to include in a book that doesn’t come to foliation or some sense of wow all that effort is finally making sense now.

UMAR HAMEED: And the thing is that nine months things is maybe a little short because if you take a look at any one hit any band that gets this amazing breakthrough. So, you are an overnight sensation. Yea it took seven years or dive bars and then we finally made it. But I’ll leave everyone with this one quote Winston Churchill "When you get to hell keep going.'' So, Ken thanks so much for coming here. How can people get a hold of you?

KEN ROCHON: they can go to Facebook which is where we live more than anything else and that’s the Facebook page the umbrella syndicate where they can email me at ken@theumbrellasyndicate.com.

UMAR HAMEED: Thanks so much for chatting with me today I really enjoyed it.

KEN ROCHON: Thank you very much it was a pleasure.




EPISODE 008: Noah Berk, President of OBO Agency shares how to create a better customer experience

December 10, 2017

Noah Berk is the co-founder and head of strategy at OBO Agency. With more than 15 years of B2B sales and marketing experience ranging from startups to large enterprises, he drives the company's strategy in transforming the way clients conduct generate business.



Highlights from Podcast

  1. Instead of chasing money, focus on helping customers and the money will follow
  2. The more you learn, the better customer experience you create
  3. A sales person's job is to help the customers think at a higher level
  4. You create momentum for your org when you doing something you're great at
  5. YOU are what you read. YOU are who you meet, YOU are what your experiences.


Connect with Noah Berk:



Here is a transcription of this podcast:

Umar Hameed: Are you ready to become awesomer? Hi everyone this is Umar Hameed and welcome to another episode of the No Limit Selling Podcast, where we talk to industry leaders about tips, tricks and strategies to become more awesome in what you do, and today I'm privileged to have Noah Berk he is the president of OBO agency. Noah welcome to the program.

Noah Berk: Thanks for having me here today.

Umar Hameed: So Noah in ninety seconds tell us who you are and what you do?

Noah Berk: Cool, so I am one of the co-founders OBO. agency and we are a B2B company's marketing firm So essentially what we do is we help position our clients as leaders in the market place through a combination of helping them set up and implement their markets technology through content marketing and lead generation tactics, so what I do over here I consider the fun stuff of course I lead sales for the company and I bring on clients I think would be a really good fit for the services we provide but more importantly I get to do strategy. So my job is to learn and I'm supposed to learn everything there is to know about marketing everything there is to know about B2B sales so I can educate my own customers on what to do, what process they should implement.

Umar Hameed: So you walk your talk.

Noah Berk: I walk my talk.

Umar Hameed: That is brilliant, so who's your favorite superhero and why?

Noah Berk: Great question, I think it's Superman you know partly because I mean you know you really can't die even though eventually the comics he does die but he is a bad ass he has all the powers but he's still kind of human you know in terms of his vulnerabilities so he's not the end all be all but he seems to be able to take on any other superhero and I like someone who can always win but still show a sense of humility and be humble at the same time.

Umar Hameed: So Superman you know he's got this sensitivity to kryptonite. So for you as a leader of this organization, what's your kryptonite like what's the one thing you wish you could do better that would make you a Better leader?

Noah Berk: Oh my God not talk so much. Sometimes yeah sometimes I talk you know it's I’ll say it throughout this but it's really listening and being aware and I think as an individuals we tend to talk more than we tend to listen.

Umar Hameed: So I've been listening to this book is called negotiate as if your life depends on it highly recommended by the way and one of things they talk about being hostage rescuers it's not so much about the talking it's about deep listening and they've got other agents listening to the recordings of what's happening alive now and sometimes they just pick up this little fling that can mean the difference between hostages getting killed or not, so being a great leader listening is a critical mostly overlooked element. So Noah what motivates you?

Noah Berk: You know if you asked me this question ten years ago I'd say money. That's not my motivation anymore.

Umar Hameed: It's more money.

Noah Berk: Yes it's more money (laugh) but I should tend to think that.. that can lead you astray. I think what motivates me now is there really helping others. It may seem cliche to say I want to go out there and help my clients become the best of what they do but that's what motivates me and by doing that it makes us the best of what we do and I want to be the best I want to be elite I want to be the place of people come in call and say hey listen I need help myself marketing can you guys help us.

Umar Hameed: So it sounds like what I hear you saying is when you're motivated by money, then it's about ego and doing the best you can and the way you measure is money but when you're motivated by helping your customer succeed that actually takes the ego away and it's more about how to get the best results which is a slight difference but a huge difference. Right?

Noah Berk: And money will follow and so the other problem if you chase money you tend to make decisions not necessarily either in your own best interests or your company's best interests or your future. And you know.looking back in my own career, there's plenty of things I could have done a lot better whereas if I wasn't a silly chasing money first in the business second I probably would have been in a much different place than I am right now

Umar Hameed: Brilliant. So who's one of your mentors that really helped to progress?

Noah Berk: I have a bunch of mentors but one individual I want to talk about Stuart Gold, unfortunately he passed away.

Umar Hameed: I have met him, he was freaking awesome

Noah Berk: Yeah. He's a he is a wealth of information and he tells it to you straight he kept me on the street narrow in fact I started this business with my co-founder and he was one of the first of all I want to go talk to about it and you know the advice he says hey if this is your calling as if this is your direction if you think you're better suited to help other companies succeed, you've got to go do it you know in he gave me the motivation but he also made sure that I had the right intention. Before making that next step.

Umar Hameed: Sounds brilliant and it sounds like it stuck because you know money versus helping and money will follow. So here is a question that some people have a tough time answering. Who would be somebody that you know or someone from history that you'd love to have lunch with and what question would you ask them?

Noah Berk: So I have always been motivated by certain books and one book in particular is Think and Grow Rich and a guy named Napaleon Hill and I would love to sit down in a Napolean Hill more important I love to sit down appoint him and ask him out of everyone who he knows who would he want to interview? and what questions would he want to ask them? because it sent me on my own journey to discover this particular individual and learn new insights so and I think just sitting down to Napolean Hill just be like a wealth of information I mean this guy

Umar Hameed: I would think so and I guess if I would sit down with him the question I'd ask him is, what's the question you still have.

Noah Berk: Yes Yes Exactly exactly.

Umar Hameed: So what was your first sales job?

Noah Berk: So I've pretty much concerned my entire life. If you consider elementary school when I started selling candy you consider that a call that freelance sales job.

Umar Hameed: Yes

Noah Berk: My first real sales job was when I was seventeen I was working for a sales recruiting company and my job was interrupt the times to find sales leads so my very first job was literally going through newspapers a fine job postings and job listings taking on a ruler measuring the size of those ads and equating them to the value we knew the newspaper of selling them for so our sales people.

Umar Hameed: Give me a high five for that.

Noah Berk: Yes. So our sales people then have to go through and actually call on the stuff so I actually help them with everything from their C.R.M. system at the time they're using something called goldmine. I don't know how people remember,goldmine and my very first time a member my job volved was working there they said OK Hey can you do a little research and figure out who we need to call each one of those companies so I actually start picking up the phone call and say Hey who's the sales manager in charge of hiring and one day get someone on the phone and that becomes my very first sales call where the guy says well I'm not interested in talking to someone else I'm only interested in talking to you so what do you guys have to offer.

Umar Hameed: Brilliant. So who was your best sales manager and what was the attribute they had that really spoke to you?

Noah Berk: So he wasn't my direct sales manager, he was one of the founders of a company called Reach Local and some of you may be familiar with them in Iowa she joined them back in 2008 when I called the Wild West of sales. 2008, 2009 for right time frame and and he was one of the founders and he was in charge of all the sales operations and it was his pure energy and his commitment and his willingness to do whatever it takes to get done and I was inspired by him each and every day I mean he showed me that learning equates to better customer experience which equates to more sales and I follow that advice ever since and he's to this day one of the best sales people I've ever come across some of the best managers I've ever personally HAVE.

Umar Hameed: Thanks for sharing that. So have you ever had a come to Jesus moment we had to have like rethink what you were doing and really get on a different track.

Noah Berk: Yes I had a entrepreneur and had a green technology company that was focused on producing indoor hydroponic plants and these plants are not growing with any soil and I left my high pain, you know internet marketing career to go do it.

Umar Hameed: By the way as you were answering that question you pointed to this giant plant is that hydroponic as.

Noah Berk: It is called Hydra culture plants it's actually Hawaiian plant there's no traditional soil on there it's all grown and expanded clay has a while and it cater gaging you can't really kill them as long as you just water them properly and not hard to figure out how to water them because anyone who goes

Umar Hameed: We’ll take a picture of them put it in the podcast.

Noah Berk: Yes, yes, I'd love that the team my team here gives me a hard time about how much I love my indoor plants its great as a hobby but long story short what I didn't follow in people are interested read the forceps or an opinion by Steve Blank but I started to build this business without really understanding what they were what market was for or who was going to purchase and I was very idealistic into a lot of things I teach my clients to do now. So I learned a tremendous amount but the coming of Jesus moment happened when I said, is this what I’m going to be doing for the rest of my life in an industry and a particular product on the business of that people care or don’t care about, or am I going to try something new? And I realized that moment in time that my passion was no longer there. It turns out it’s much more fun as a hobby than as a business, so I said this is a hub enough for business and I ended up selling that company.

Umar Hameed: So basically if we asked ourselves on a regular basis maybe calendar every six months, are you doing something that makes a difference to you? And I think sometimes people go three years into an endeavor window should have gotten out years ago, have the asked about question it would be, no, not happy.

Noah Berk: And I think for a lot of business, the business owners easy to be a business owner when your company is making revenue and profits, very easy, it’s fun. It’s the times when you’re not making the revenue or your losing money month over month, and the profits aren’t there that you question, do you have the capacity and endurance to continue to get to the other end? And then once you get to the other end and are you still going to be happy? And that business was profitable was making money, but I wasn’t happy, I wasn’t happy in what I was doing. And what I set out to do was not what it ended up becoming, and I think it’s always important to take a look at that you know, understand that one day you will make profits, you will make revenue. Is that alone going to make you happy based upon what you’re doing? And if those are questions you got to ask yourself.

Umar Hameed: So tell me about a deal that you saved from the jaws of death?

Noah Berk: Okay there’s a ton of those. One in particular is when I was selling BI software and we were competing against several other companies for this particular software; and this was six-figure deals I was selling at the time, and this particular deal in particular our competitors had come in and they were beginning an offer cutting prices slashing prices, I went to my boss and I said listen, I’ve got to hop on a flight to Minnesota, it’s the middle of winter and I need to go see this client. He says okay go do it. You know there he was encouraging you to go out there and what I quickly understood no one had gone out to meet with this particular cleint. Everyone was pitching him six figure deals but there wasn't a single person on site whether their engineer the sales person. So I actually had gone out there with one of my engineers brought one of my engineers with me.

Umar Hameed: Smart.

Noah Berk: And we did about a day's worth of work onsite totally free,helping them out throughout that process and when I went back to the office it wasn't about numbers about whether they trying to accomplish and very casual was able to say OK session me twice as much as I originally quoted you you bought and partly is because we were to solve this problem it turned out it wasn't about money, it was about having a relationship with a company and feeling confident that when they install our software into their application it will be there.

Umar Hameed: So it goes back to that theme that you started with when you started focusing and it sounds like in an early time focusing on helping the customer actually going out there doing that day of work for free is when you open up opportunities and you really build that relationship.

Noah Berk: Absolutely and I think there's a fine line between giving away free advice and consultation and then showing a customer what you're capable of doing. And you know there's a balance between the two in a certain situations because the outcome you're looking for so great it makes sense and but in other situations you also got to be mindful you know there's a point where you know are you doing free work for the sake of doing free work or is this because you're investing into this relationship for the long term benefits.

Umar Hameed: Brilliant. So looking at the sales profession right now because the climate has changed is always changing I guess always has been but particularly nowadays what do you think is the biggest challenge for salespeople in selling in this day and age?

Noah Berk: Too much data. You know the irony is you're flooded with so much data you're not really quite sure what data is most important to you, so you know what counsel I call what should I bring up in a conversation how should I communicate with this particular prospect and I think the challenge isn't necessarily although it's too much, so much data out there it's how do you use it for your own benefit and I think as a sales person you use this data to figure out how to connect to your audience right and you use this data to figure out how to connect and take a prospect and turn them into a customer and kind of the second part to this is with all this data is you know sales and that is a profession and keep in mind your customer already knows eighty percent about what you have to sell part of are getting on the phone and talking to them right so your job is to help them understand why your product is the one, they should choose and thus you've got to become a consultant so sales people who are focused on transactions, who are not educating themselves who are not reading, who are not saying current on their industry are going to be your bottom twenty percent you know that twenty percent I'm sorry the bottom twenty percent versus. The top twenty percent US can produce eighty percent your company revenue.

Umar Hameed: Makes perfect sense and so back to that being that consultant being that helper just spits you apart from everybody else because you help the client understand what their real needs are as opposed to what they think they are.

Noah Berk: That's correct.

Umar Hameed: So you've got sales people that work with you.

Noah Berk: Oh yes.

Umar Hameed: So how do you manage expectations for the sales people you lead versus your board of directors because you have two sets of expectations, so how do you manage both?

Noah Berk: So that's a really great question so first is to have those goals that we're going to hit and making sure that we're consistently hitting them and I'm really proud to say as a company we have. We've been hitting our goals every month.

Umar Hmeed: Nice.

Noah Berk: You know we've been as a company we got started last January, so only two years and a really really far ahead we've got an excellent client roster,we've got excellent clients coming on board,but I think it comes down to big ensure that you have a plan for both a company as a whole as well as an individual sales basis so you know just like we teach our clients we do ourselves you know who are my top hundred and fifty clients, who I want to bring on board based on my ideal customers and then what's my strategy to go target them and in Mycenae aside time throughout the week to actually devote myself to doing business development or if I'm a sales person my devoting the right amount of time to business development and even given time but without a plan and just kind of willy Delina and just going at it you're not going to be successful and then also being flexible in terms of your approach and realizing that you've got to revisit every quarter are we hitting Are we not what are some lean locks and what do we need to do to overcome it.

Umar Hameed: Brilliant. So how do you motivate your sales team?

Noah Berk: That's a great question, depends upon who they are?

Umar Hameed: right

Noah Berk: Yes, it's an individual basis. So motivating sales team and I think you can probably comment on this too as understanding you know whether it's the Meiers break desk or anything just understand who the person is? Who their personality is and what their motivation is? You may be surprised how many sales people are actually not motivated by money, they're simply motivated by winning. Money comes. You'd be surprised *hostle* what those sales person's motivations are and then be able to trigger on it but I think to keep yourselves people motivated is you have to make sure that as a company you delivering on what they're selling. There's no quicker way to demoralize your sales team and have that salesperson sell an amazing deal and see your product not live up to the expectations or your solution not live up to the expectations.

Umar Hameed: So trust with an organization is critical I was working with a client where the sales team was caving in on price when we unpacked what was going on is they didn't believe that they are supporting him could live up to the expectations so they were kind of taking the foot off the gas and once we fixed that issue then they actually double the sales.

Noah Berk: Yeah.

Umar Hameed: so we didn't teach them a thing about selling but took the I don't want to rip anybody off kind of thing that was going on at the unconscious level.

Noah Berk: I agree and that's something in a I think as a company you can support your salespeople by sharing with them what new products, what features, what capabilities, your success stories in making sure that the teams are aligned, that the team supporting the product and solution are living up to expectations sales also making sure sales know overselling what your product can do.

Umar Hameed: Brilliant, So what's the best advice you've ever gotten?

Noah Berk: Wow. Best advice that I have ever gotten? Was probably my father telling me that Paul the stock market in 2001 right before the bubble exploded last I want permits for money. Now just kidding about that one (laugh). I think the best advice I've ever gotten. It was you know do what you're great at doing and find that thing continue doing it because it's much easier to maintain momentum when you're doing something new you're really great, it maybe you love it maybe you don't love it but you're really great at doing drilling when you're great at doing something he literally love it you know. So I don't want to say do something you love doing because I could say that about plans but I'm not really great

Umar Hameed: Now we're looking at the point you were not.

Noah Berk: Yeah. I'm not really great running you know that's a company person but you know so I think I can grow plants I can grow in your hydroponic plan any question you have about them. But I think it's funny to me that you're really good at doing and making that into.

Umar Hameed: You're going to hit hard times if you doing something you love it gives you the capacity just there's a quote from Winston Churchill a quote a lot "When you get to hell keep going." If you're doing something you love you can do that more easily than something that is George.

Noah Berk: Agreed.

Umar Hameed: So how do you know you're making the right hire when you're hiring a salesperson because that's a tricky thing to do, how do you know you making the right decision.

Noah Berk: Figure out what their incentives are their motivations.

Umar Hameed: Like you're into so in that interview you figure out what drives them.

Noah Berk: You figure out what drives them so I was I had the fortune opportunity to interview thousands of salespeople throughout my life. I was a sales recruiter for about seven years right and I said travel around the country interviewing salespeople for sales positions and very quickly you can start assessing whether or not a salesperson is going to be a good fit for something simply by figure out their internal motivations and drivers. One way of actually doing that is understanding you know they actually treating sales as a craft or how are they perfect in their own craft. One way to do is simply know hey we want to look at I don't care Jeff or get him or HOLMES You name it just give me something that you're doing to improve your own craft. The second thing is what......18:48........ You know why are they going to come in here where they motivate to do what are they motivate be best at. And I think from that particular standpoint you can..18:57...better assessing the individual in the sales person to see are they really going to be a good fit for this are the educating themselves or do the before coming in the interview they know what your product was because if they research you like a little research your prospects.

Umar Hameed: Make sense in it and it's also another theme that keeps on coming up in this conversation "learning is a key element of success."

Noah Berk: The number one I tell my team all the time we're paid to learn.

Umar Hameed: So when you have a salesperson that is talented but we all hit slumps. How do you coach somebody out of a slumps, so they do it sooner than later?

Noah Berk: That's that's a really great question to..

Umar Hameed: Without using a taser.

Noah Berk: Yeah without using a taser or without giving them five hundred dollars or bribing them or incentives or anything else. It depends upon what's causing that slump. I think goes back to one of your earlier questions and one of the answers I gave you is because you know or have faith in your product. You know there are some internal things happening right now in the organisation. Have they checked out for one reason or another?

Umar Hameed: Or could be external event to get to be a service when it…

Noah Berk: Yeah I think there's a lot telltale signs of a salesperson checking own person because I've actually been in that position myself where I'm not motivated anymore and you can start seeing that by simply looking at their activity and I think the other thing is oftentimes sales is forgotten that you're on the front line actually learning what customers want?

Umar Hameed: Right.

Noah Berk: And you know a sales person one other way of getting them involved is by saying well what questions do people have and have your marketing star answering those questions and start actually supporting sales, so getting your salespeople more involved in the business, as a whole help them feel like they're part of the company not just a cock in the wheel, is one way of kind of turning that around.

Umar Hameed: And that's a two way street because I guess it really helps the marketing folks when they know what the sales people are hearing you know the building that team so one team, so here's a question. Do you think sales is a subset of marketing or the other way around?

Noah Berk: That is a really great question because they issue. I think sales of marking are becoming more one in the same or so to see more V.P. as the sales and marketing your service you know more chief revenue officers to market he may be directly reporting them, I see it as a standpoint marking this job is to thing like a battle is to bombard the beach had before you troops arrive.

Umar Hameed:  coporate bombing.

Noah Berk: Corporate bombing Yeah you want to make sure by the time your sales person because before a call that prospect they know what you do, they know what you're about they're familiar with your brand and they feel confident to be able to purchase from you because I makes your job a lot easier. So I really think it's a more of an even playing field whereas the sales work in less a more top of the funnel getting those leads coming in

Umar Hameed: Marketing top of the funnel.

Noah Berk: Marketing, I'm sorry marking top of the funnel its responsibilities sales pull them all the way through the cycle but responsibility of marketing is to help them move that prospect through the funnel. What material what collateral ? What visibility what awareness? what events do we need to go to and to rather think as you know two separate entities working against each other let's think of the most one in the same just different roles.

Umar Hameed: Brilliant so what something that you wishing you now wish that you know now that you wish you knew ten or ten years ago?

Noah Berk: So I think it's patience. Wow patience is such a virtue. There are certain situations of a just simply the patient to hold out, wait it, learn more my career would have been a much different trajectory then you know it is not your I love it oh Russell[23:33] because I've been humbled throughout my career my motivations I think are more aligned and you know I feel better about where I am both as a person and in my career but I think patience is something that people tend to forget excess the highly motivated vicious people, where you're driven and that drive is beyond important a lever that go away. But patients whether it's a business deal patients whether it's a company or patients whether as an entrepreneurial activity.

Umar Hameed: as a leader.

Noah Berk: Ptience as a leader. Patience. You are what you read, you are who you meet and you are your experiences and that makes up who you are as a person. So one area you can accelerate is by reading and listening you want to get further ahead.

Umar Hameed: Brilliant. So what's a book that you're reading right now that you'd like to recommend?

Noah Berk: So there's a couple books I'm reading right now one is the twenty two mutable laws of marketing. And you know it's a classic I think it's what seventy's eighty's and you know right now I don't know so I know I'd recommend it I tend to finish books all the way through right only because I I think some of the principals and they're probably no longer applying especially some of the examples I gave but if I do recommend some business books like some would be just calls from good to great you know get that hatchet you know get that big hairy audacious goal that you're going for and understanding that and there is also another really interesting book that you know maybe I should take a step back rather necessarily just interesting books but there are three books that journey recommend one is How to Win Friends and Influence People by Napoleon Hill another one is. I'm sorry not Napolean Hill and Napolean Hill also thinking grow rich and then the other one also is really want to really long one out there you can read either Atlas Shrugged. Or found had Yeah it will explain why you work but that's for someone who's like really committed. To get further and I meant to say earlier How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie right there was a really interesting book I wish I could just pull off Tom ahead right now in terms of in terms of where it is but there is a book called fifty nine seconds. Since I think a little Richard Wiseman that She dispels a lot of business myths stuff that I had done early, in my career that I wish, oh my God if I hadn't actually followed that Myth my life would've been quite different so that's another interesting book.

Umar Hameed: So no thanks so much for sitting down with me. Get a hold of you and your company.

Noah Berk: Yes so you can visit us at oboagency.com. You can email me directly at noah@oboagency.com. You know as a company you know what we're looking for is we are looking for companies that want to take that next step. We're looking for companies who we feel can use our process that we developed that has been proven time and time again for our clients to succeed in the marketplace, and we're looking for Generally B2B companies you know can be earlier stage companies, we work with a lot of mature businesses both technology, non technology based companies in terms of the true sense of technology companies; and for me I'm looking for wins you know. If I take you on as a client it’s because I know I can win. If I refer you to someone else it’s because I don't feel like we're the best fit for you for one reason or the other.

So feel free to check us out at oboagency, we're at events, we’re at sponsorships, networking all the time, and I’d love to meet you and if you just want to pick my brain I'm happy to share.

Umar Hameed: Brilliant, thanks so much for sitting down.

Noah Berk: Cool, thank you.



EPISODE 007: Keith Scott, President and CEO of the BCCC shares how important the human connection is in sales

November 27, 2017

Keith (@KeithBScott) is the president and CEO of the Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce (@baltcochamber) and the Small Business Resource Center. He's an action oriented person and believes in persistence, continuing to figure out who you are and refining oneself.



Highlights from the Podcast:

1. The more you observe people, the better you understand their behaviors and habits.

2. The motivation of a salesperson should be solving problems for their clients not selling stuff.

3. The human connection is the most important part of the transaction.

4. Always be authentic. Be yourself and have real conversations with people.

5. Re-assess. Always listen to your inner voice.


Connect with Keith


TALLsmall Productions, LLC.


Here's a transcription of this podcast:


Umar Hameed: Are you ready to become awesomer? Hi everyone this is your host Umar Hameed, welcome to the NO LIMITS SELLING podcast where leaders share their tips, techniques, and strategies to improve sales performance, and today I’m privileged to have Keith Scott, president of the Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce. Keith, welcome to the program.


Keith Scott: Thank you, it is an honor to be here today.


Umar Hameed: So Keith in 90 seconds tell us what you do and who you are.


Keith Scott: I’m an action oriented person. I believe in persistence, continuing to figure out who you are and refining yourself. I enjoy the role of president and CEO of the Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Resource Center.


Umar Hameed: So, in a nutshell what you said there, I think is critically important. You have to be authentic, you can’t pretend to be anybody. You can be successful as that, but if you want to be wildly successful, you have to be who you are. You know your identity, you know who stand for.

Keith Scott: You have to be transparent, you have to be yourself. People will find out if you are fake, later in life. You’ve got to be yourself, figure out what skill God has given you on this earth and then pursue that skill.


Umar Hameed: Like a madman.


Keith Scott: Exactly!


Umar Hameed: So, Keith who is your favorite superhero and why?

Keith Scott: I’d definitely say Superman; he’s always been my favorite. I’m just amazed by the ability of the person. They’ve been given a gift and have to constantly figure out how they are going to best use that gift to serve humanity, at the same time you have to figure out, who do I help, because the problems of the world are immense and we can become overwhelmed by it; Superman is great at figuring out who do I help and why do I go help that person.


Umar Hameed: Brilliant. So Keith what motivates you?


Keith Scott: My motivation is, knowing every day that I have an opportunity to make the world a better place for myself and my family. At the end of the day if we’re not making this a better place for future generations, what’s the point?


Umar Hameed: Makes perfect sense. I know you are a mentor to a lot of people but who’s your mentor?

Keith Scott: My mentor would be my parents, they inspire me, and they have given me the strength, the talent, the resources to do what I can do. They are always encouraging, no matter, on my worst days or my best days they always have wisdom that they can share with me.


Umar Hameed: Yeah, wisdom comes everywhere we just need to look for it. If you could have lunch with anybody living today or someone from history who would you have lunch with and what would you want to find out?

Keith Scott: Wonderful question, I would like to have lunch with Thomas Jefferson. Recently I read about this library that is intact, the Library of Congress, he was a big believer that you have to know about a number of different subjects to be a well-rounded person and politician, you have to know about a number of things, it could be: how to farm, to build a house, understanding science. I want to understand his thoughts for the founding of our country.


Umar Hameed: Are you also a lifelong learner?

Keith Scott: Learning is an everyday addiction. There are 1 million things to learn from people, from organizations, from religions, you name it. There is always something new that can keep you inspired.


Umar Hameed: Absolutely, and I think that’s why you and I are friends, we share that common passion for learning. So Keith, tell us about your career. What was your first sales job?

Keith Scott: First sales job was at Brookstone’s in the Columbia Mall, and I loved that job because my rule was to be out in the front of the store and bring people in, kind of like a Barker at a circus, that was my rule, and it had the coolest items there. My favorite was a huge massage chair that sold for couple thousand dollars, and when I could get someone to buy one of them my day was made, was perfect.


Umar Hameed: Was it the commission or was it just the challenge?

Keith Scott: Oh I didn’t get any commission, from the fact it was the challenge of being able to sell that, to convince somebody, to persuade somebody to why this chair is going to make their life better.


Umar Hameed: Brilliant. What’s the best deal you’ve ever gotten?


Keith Scott: The best deal I’ve ever gotten. I was at Kings Dominion one time and I won this huge stuffed animal, one of those mega sized ones from the games that no one ever wins, had to go back on the bus this thing was never going to fit on the bus, a woman came up and offered me $30 for this bear, and I was in seventh or eighth grade. It was a lot of money, I said, well, No I’m not going to do it. How much do you have? She goes, I’ve only got 40. I said, I’ll take 40 for it. So that was my best deal. I always remember, always go up a bit more. See where people will go to.


Umar Hameed: So, who was the best sales manager or leader that you had, and what was the attribute they had that you really admired?

Keith Scott: I worked for Goodwill industries for a number of years and I had a facility down at Winchester Virginia, there was a former CEO there, Craig McLean, and his motivation was not a long lecture, not going through a whole bunch of sales prospects; we need this done for the good of the people, and that was it, and he motivated me for the good of our clientele. I needed to sell more contracts, to provide more individuals with disabilities, opportunities to work. And I learned to go out and visit every business and uncover what opportunities are there, because the more I sold the more opportunities for individuals who would never had a job before would have an opportunity to learn the power of work.


Umar Hameed: So, this guy showed you how to go beyond yourself, showed you all will work out, impact the world.

Keith Scott: Absolutely and he did it with just a few words. You know how he did it? He did it with his body language and his eyes.

Umar Hameed: and EMS that mother had those eyes, one look and I’d straighten up still. Tell me about come to Jesus moment that had you take a look at your actions?

Keith Scott: I think to come to Jesus moment would’ve occurred when I ran eyes that people have the same needs and one they have the same pain theme hurts the same need for meaning in life and were never setting an object reselling ourselves in relationship to that person because people can buy basically items from anyone believe by a relationship the way like right troth and that’s what I realized never about a thing of the chain it will. The chamber that membership will be offer and why I’m to that member.

Umar Hameed: That Makes fun of Shakespeare it was always about that human.

Keith Scott: Absolutely in connection people look at another person nothing can I work with that person and a half to feel that fire and we can do that any other way than to look the person in the eye.

Umar Hameed: The can I sleep with that person but that’s a different category. Is there a deal that came from the jaws of death?

Keith Scott: Absolutely many times in communication on confused by claim they don’t understand Ray doing something and it takes time to tell them get confus from and to indicate in a way that we understand reasonably they may decide to cancel membership or they may say that I’m not going to sponsor this year but it’s there why and how they come to that decision and that’s how you pull deals from the jaws of death.

Umar Hameed: Understanding what internal motivation where as others feel people would look at the wares most state salespeople look at the surface so you go a little deeper or two to figure out motivation.

Keith Scott: Similar to kids when they get angry. They’re not to become angry about the situation. Something a couple layers down, but they are just a little scared to talk about it. So they lash out how we customers are the same. Customers are the same way. If you’re in a store and hear a belligerent customer yelling at someone that anger typically come from them not being able to return and item or something, their anger  deep-seated place from some other place, but  they have found a person who is going to take.

Umar Hameed: So, looking at the sales profession at large and things are changing as we move along is rapidly what you think is the biggest challenge in sales today?

Keith Scott: Not being fake. I think the biggest challenge being authentic being real and having a conversation though coming up today are not used to the face-to-face of the conversation they can quickly fire off a message or tweet or text message but they can’t engage with the customer.

Umar Hameed: So, being authentic again it’s coming back to that theme.

Keith Scott: And it’s a dance with the customer a chance to understand their needs.

Umar Hameed: A dance?

Keith Scott: You give a little bit, I give a little bit. You circle around you have to be able to anticipate the next moves of your partner to be able to understand and get that vibe from that person many people don’t have a strong situational awareness anymore they’re living in their world or there small social online community, but they are not really understanding how people operate as human beings.

Umar Hameed: That makes sense. So, Keith you’re in an interesting position where you’ve got a salesperson that worked with you that you have a board that basically oversees the organization. How do you balance the expectations at this position or other positions where you have to manage the salespeople beneath you, but you also have to manage the expectations of people above you, how do you balance the two?

Keith Scott: The balance is easy, if there’s money in the bank and were growing in membership, we are doing pretty good with the board finding a salesperson that is aggressive and at the same time compassionate to our members is that we have here at the chamber right now. The Board of Directors they expect to be part of an organization that is growing and following our simple message that is to be the strongest networking group in the area and to be a legislative sounding board for business community in the Nami, Indianapolis and locally. So our board if they know we are doing those things and we’re doing them right then they are happy. For salespeople it’s finding the right fit and I make sure I found someone that fit because they’re passionate about what they’re doing.

Umar Hameed: Brilliant, so what’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?

Keith Scott: If in doubt you’re in doubt. It’s a simple phrase.

Umar Hameed: And what does that mean because it looks like…. It sounds confusing.

Keith Scott: If you’re in doubt you’re in doubt. If you go out to a store and you’re going to buy a shirt and you have a simple little doubt about the shirt something doesn’t strike you right you don’t like the colors, you don’t think it would fit right, the fabric doesn’t feel right then put it down and don’t buy. If you’re in doubt stop what you’re doing and reassess.

Umar Hameed: And certainly when it comes to shirts who cares, but when it comes to life and the decision you feel compelled to act. And It goes back to that seen that coming over and over again being authentic because when you ignore a doubt you’re being inauthentic and you’re letting your rational side convince you of something .

Keith Scott: Right you’re not taking those vibes, those feelings. Many times we push those away or think they are not real we have to hear that inner voice that says I don’t think this is the right thing to do or I need to stop or I need to pump the brakes and slow down a bit and think. Something, we don’t do enough in life. Take time to just think, go to bed, sleep on it, let it drain through you don’t make rash decisions.

Umar Hameed: Good advice! So a lot of times when you’re hiring salespeople a lot of them look really pretty and their resumes are amazing , but as you know with a lot of Chamber members I’m sure there’s lots of  people crying on your shoulders saying “We hired 5 sales people that looked brilliant, one of them turned out”. So, how do you figure out that you’ve got the right person because it is a big decision for any size company, especially a small one.

Keith Scott: I don’t think you put an ad out there and say I’m looking for sales people you’ll never get the right deal. You’ve got to look for someone who’s successful, growing that’s already working for another company that you can things that they have a passion that they are aggressive and that they are hungry to learn and to grow you’ve got to be able to assess that early on in the interview and typically , many times, the people that look the shiniest have rust underneath. You’re going to look for the real person who has a story, who has been through a journey not who looks shiny, but is going to wear out thin pretty fast.

Umar Hameed: So, if I hear you right, a) We’re going back to authenticity again, b) When I come to, let’s say I’m dating someone and certainly looking my best and not cussing too much that date, but you’re saying that you look for people that are already working, already walking their talk. And they are not acting for you or performing for you because they don’t know you were care both you and you get the animals in their natural environment and see exactly who they are for real and if you like that, the way you bring them over it with a more compelling vision and purpose.

Keith Scott: And get to know them. When you’re interviewing someone for a job and you see their resume and people can put anything they want on their resume, right? But if you’re talking to them and you‘re thinking I just don’t like the person or I got to spend 40 hours a week hanging out with this person that is not the right

Umar Hameed: That’s what marriage is for.

Keith Scott: Exactly! If they start to annoy you or have habits then you just need to move on because that will drive you nuts.

Umar Hameed: And them.

Keith Scott: And it won’t work. Many people are a flash in the pan you’ve got to have someone with a track record they can’t just do the sprint they’ve got to be able to do the marathon.

Umar Hameed: Makes perfect sense. So Keith what is something you know now that you wish you knew 10 years ago that would have changed the quality of your life or success in business.

Keith Scott: Time moves fast and as you get older it goes faster and faster, not to squander days not to do anything meaningless to try to find meaning in everything you do every day because every year goes by faster and faster.

Umar Hameed: I can’t believe we’re in October almost to November

Keith Scott: Life is moving fast.

Umar Hameed: So, what’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?

Keith Scott: You will never have all the answers when you start a business, when you make a decision, when you go forward. If you’ve got eighty percent of the answers then keep moving

Umar Hameed: Execute.

Keith Scott: Absolutely, you’ll figure out the 20% while you’re running along and while you’re building it, but too many people will say I need the full business plan and I need to this and I need to that and they never get out of the game and they never move.

Umar Hameed: And they could be moving and since they got this quandary they stop and then the inertia it’s really hard to get them rolling again

Keith Scott: And then everybody else passes them by.

Umar Hameed: Then what’s the point, why would I even bother.

Keith Scott: Exactly.

Umar Hameed: What help would you give leaders out there helping them grow their sales like what advice would you do people in small companies to midsize companies to grow their revenue.

Keith Scott: Be genuine, be a real person, talk about real things to lose all the sales jargon, all the corporate speak all that stuff. It is a waste. Become a real person that people will like. Understand and love humanity and find the positive in everyone you meet.

Umar Hameed: Let’s dig a little deeper there because the words you said in English make perfect sense but the actual doing of said for a lot of people is really difficult. So how do people really get to figure out who they are and really embrace it?

Keith Scott: Look back when you were a kid and when you had that Saturday afternoon where you could do anything you wanted to do. Embrace that as an adult that’s when you’ll figure out who you are. Take some time doing whatever you want to do in the moment don’t feel as though you have to do this or do we have to do that do what you want to do at that moment and then you will figure out who you truly are.

Umar Hameed: So, the last question for you Keith is what is a book that you would recommend people reading to improve their performance he could be in life business or sales?

Keith Scott: I wouldn’t suggest a book. What I would suggest is reading the body language, the tone, the conversation the environments of people around you take a day take a half a day whatever you can afford sit on a bench near a crowd of people and observe people. It’s the best teacher you can ever find. Observe what you like about the people, what you don’t like about the people and the mannerisms that you have that you don’t like and you will learn more about how to be a person than any book you will ever read.

Umar Hameed: So Keith what does this mean?

Keith Scott: (laughs)

Umar Hameed: Well I gave Keith a gesture.

Keith Scott: That this interview will end soon. Won’t it?

Umar Hameed: Keith thanks so much for taking time out to chat with us, I got a lot out of it.



EPISODE 006: Chris Mechanic, CEO at WebMechanics shares how you get more done by focusing on fewer initiatives

November 20, 2017

Chris Mechanic is the CEO and Co-Founder at @WebMechanix. Chris was recently selected as a finalist by Ernst & Young for their Entrepreneur of the Year award.

Chris and and his partner (Arsham Mirshah) started WebMechanix in the basement of the family home in 2009. They have grown Webmechanix into a prominent digital agency in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Highlights from the podcast:


1. Add a zero to your price. People will pay more than you think.

2. Serve people instead of selling to them. 

3. Making guarantees, When you take a risk the rewards are huge

4. Focus on what distinguishes you from others.

5. Speaking the same language, use the same metrics for sales to the marketing.

6. Focus. Limit the number of initiatives that you take on to one or two at a time.


Connect with Chris


Twiter: @chrismechanic


Here's a transcription to the podcast:


Umar: Are you ready to become awesomer?. Hi everyone this is Umar Hamid and welcome to the No Limits Selling podcast where sales leaders share their insights and ideas on how to make us better stronger faster and today I'm privileged to have Chris mechanic here the C.E.O. of Web Mechanics Chris welcome to the program.

Chris: Thank you Umar really excited to be here.

Umar: So Chris in ninety seconds tell us who you are and what you do.

Chris: Sure! Yes I'm co-founder and C.E.O. Web Mechanics. Web Mechanics is a performance based marketing and advertising firm. I like to say we basically help our clients get the phones ringing and the cash registers dinging. So, we do online advertising on Facebook, Google ads, we do a lot of analytics a lot of testing of different landing pages and things like that. In a prior world, I was self-employed as an Internet entrepreneur.

Umar: Right

Chris: And I was recruited into the agency space and once I saw you know things were being done I say hey let's give it a shot let's (00:57inaudible)

Umar: I can do a better!

Chris: I can do a better. Exactly!

Umar: That is awesome.

Chris: Classic story right?

Umar: So we're going to dig deeper into what you guys did because at... from one point of view it looks pretty, pretty easy and the reality is its frickin hard. It's like voodoo to figure out what people are thinking out there, on the other side of the ad, to get them to take action.

Chris: Right

Umar:..that you want other than ignore.

Chris: Yeah, yeah. I mean the messaging pieces like you know can be voodoo, but also just the technicalities of the platforms themselves these days.

Umar: Yes !

Chris: Like the Facebook advertising platform has fast become pretty much the world's most complex self-service advertising system. There are so many bells and whistles and little pitfalls. Same with Google Ad Words. Same Google Analytics really, but of course they're doing they're made by Google and Facebook and an army of the smartest engineers that you've ever met and it's literally just designed to make you spend money.

Umar: Yeah

Chris: So, if you don't know what you're doing on the technical side of the bag end...It's just like... that's sort of the Ying and Yang thing that I like which is like you know the ad copy in the messaging as the Yang and then the...

Umar: So then the art and the science.

Chris: Exactly, exactly.

Umar: Brilliant! So Chris, who is your favorite superhero and why?

Chris: Favorite superhero. You know ,I got to go Superman and I got to go Superman I know it's a boring answer but Superman is... he's a Superman he's got his girl, you've got Lois Lane, he's got his day job and then he just ...he's got his suit under there and he just goes flying and he can cut through stuff...

Umar: But just remember he does not have a girl. Well, unrequited love (02:33inaudible) at its worst. So what motivates you? What gets you up in the morning? What gets you to execute? Like today is a holiday and you came in to promote your business and have a conversation with me. So what motivates you?

Chris: It's... I mean I'm just going to be honest everybody always talks about these things. It’s the dollar baby. I need that dollar just like you and everybody else. No, but seriously umm so I am obviously motivated by money. I think most sales people are umm, but what's really gratifying, surprisingly gratifying and growing Web Mechanics is seeing people come into the organization very green very new employees

Umar: So employees

Chris: Employees. Yea, not knowing anything and oftentimes having difficulty getting any jobs. They graduated with marketing or business degree or whatever, but within a year, two years, three years recruiters are banging down their door and they're all of a sudden very, very good umm just you know having learned through here. So, seeing people grow and progress, and you know, you know go from kind of zero to hero almost is very gratifying to me.

Umar: Ah, that's nice. And that's a good sign of leadership because ultimately it’s how do we get people to go beyond their limitations...

Chris: Right

Umar:..and reach their potential

Chris: That's right.

Umar: So who's your mentor?

Chris: You know I've been fortunate enough to have many mentors over the years. My very first mentor was a guy name Andy Waller this was... So I sold insurance basically

Umar: Right

Chris: At Aflac when I was like sixteen seventeen years old that was my first real sales job. And he just you know he took me under his wing he bought me my first suit and he taught me basically about cold you know cold calling and full cycle selling right there via insurance

Umar: Brilliant!

Chris: That was cool.

Umar: So, if you could have lunch with anybody, living or from history, a character from a book like who would that one person be and what question would you ask them?

Chris: You know who it would be honestly? I don't know if you know this person, but it would be Paramhansana Yogananda. This guy he wrote the auto biography of a yogi...

Umar: Yes, I know who he is and there's a great documentary on Netflix if you not seen it you must see.

Chris: I have seen that, but I would love to meet him. Actually you know I would really love to meet Jesus. If I could just you know i could just choose anybody...

Umar: But Yoganada, there's a quote from him that I really like. It was like when he first came to America to kind of bring yoga and meditation to the west, he came to an airport that was carpeted and he said "These people live in paradise, but they're too busy with their lives to notice because this is bigger than my village and it's carpeted and heated" He's like pretty amazing.

Chris: Yea.

Umar: So, you already mentioned your first real sales job was Aflac so you know what did you learn there that still serves you today?

Chris: You know I learned about Hustle. I learned about rejection because it was a full cycle sales job so you would start by basically building pipes. So, I would have to make thirty, forty, fifty sometimes even more calls, just to get people on the phone let alone convince them...

Umar: To get an appointment.

Chris:... to look at the some young kid come in and talk to their you know probably elderly employee base about like hospitalization and cancer insurance. People would look at me like I'm crazy like what the hell do you know about cancer man like you're...can't even grow a mustache.

Umar: I was talking to this young lady and she was saying well her first cold call, it was at Aflac, and her manager was there and it was the first one she was doing herself and the guy she called said "You are the eighth Aflac person that's called me this week and you keep on calling me" and then he started swearing in her and it was the worst call ever and she's just deer in the headlights,

Chris: That happened all the time.

Umar: and she gets over it and so the guy says "Congratulations, that’ll be the worst call you'll ever do. Everything is up from here baby.

Chris: Yeah, but then you know I've always been fascinated...So prior to Aflac I've always been drawn to sales.

Umar: Yes!

Chris: To the tune of like an eighth grade for instance .It was jewelry it was all popular like men would wear these chains it was kind of inspired by the hip hop

Umar: Very Italian.

Chris: Or the Italians

Umar: Different generation. Sorry, it was a hip hop for yours,

Chris: Yea, so I was all into it and I found the source of gold plated jewelry which looked and felt exactly like you know

Umar: The real thing

Chris: ... fourteen or eighteen carat gold and it held up really well. So, I would wear it and people started asking me about it so I began selling that. You know I would just go and buy it for very cheap and I would double or triple the price and it was still much cheaper than real gold. But I was selling that in eighth grade and so, I think, one of the key learning lessons that I had there was basically if you can find something, and procure it for a certain amount of money, and then sell it for more that's like the easiest way to make money.

Umar: That's business way

Chris: So umm... So that and also to pay attention to demands that people were asking me "Hey, where did you get that chain?" and then I'd just “Hey, you want one?"

Umar: So basic business stuff that sometimes people lose sight of...

Chris: Yea.

Umar:...by getting too fancy, So what's the best deal you ever had?

Chris: The best deal I ever had. You know I've struck a lot of good deals and honestly... So, I have this deal right now, and it's funny because I'm not getting paid anything for it- zero dollars So there's this client, they're a startup, you know SAS company out of the Northern Virginia area and so. They call me in for an appointment and we're talking and we're getting along well and both of us are getting all excited and the buyer goes "The only thing is, I don't have any money right now. I'm raising money" and I was like "What the heck?" So, I spoke with one of my business partners about it and it turns out that this guy's like the most connected..

Umar: Human being on the planet. I know who this is by the way.

Chris: Yea.But, so I said "OK fine", we'll we'll do a deal, but let us use your software and let us... and once we kill it you know and once you're enjoying the service

Umar: Be an evangelist

Chris: Be an evangelist. But even more specifically, I was like send us five good referrals a month.

Umar: yeah

Chris: And they were like tracking it and so you know within just a couple months, we did indeed start killing it. The charts started singing, the phone started ringing and they're starting to sing our praises and now two of the hottest deals in my pipeline right...

Umar: Are from that

Chris: Are from that.

Umar: Brilliant

Chris: And I expect both of them to close. And it's largely on the strength of the endorsement from this person. So deals like that I like that and performance based deals.

Umar: yea.

Chris: So, straight out cash deals are kind of boring these days

Umar: Nice. So tell me about.. you mentioned you want to meet Jesus, but tell me about a come to Jesus moment in your business career uhh where it was like oh my God, I need to change what I'm doing this is not working tell me about one of those.

Chris: So you know, In the earlier days there was a period where I was kind of I kind of thought of myself as this hotshot sales guy. You know, I would use sales tactics, I would use some pressure tactics. Sometimes, I would use like bait and switch, takeaways like all these kind of sales tactics. And it was working when we were selling to very, very small businesses, but then as we started selling into larger businesses those types of techniques would turn them off and it took me a while to realize this. But you know, one day I just looked at my pipeline was dry. I didn't have a lot of people calling. We had some clients, and they were happy, but it was almost as if any time I had a meeting like I never would get follow ups. And then one of my  prospects that I was pitching to was kind enough to pull me aside and say 

'Hey man like tone it down a little bit like. You know what you're doing like you don't have to rely on these sleazy sales tactics..

Umar: Yea.

Chris: Like I really learned a lot...

Umar: They're transparent to us.

Chris: Yea. So, I read this blog post called From Selling to Serving and and that's just basically about adjusting the mindset from like closing a prospect.


Chris: Doesn't that sound so like you know war like

Umar: Oh, yea.

Chris:It's like, it's like a fight "acquiring a prospect". Like what? You don't acquire people-you attract them. Right?

Umar: Yes.

Chris: So...

Umar: Or you kidnap them

Chris: Or yeah. Or that.

Umar: That's another story.

Chris: So that really caused a jolt for me and I was like depressed you know for a little while about it. I was all sad, but then it changed my perspective and I've since closed you know tens of millions of dollars in business.

Umar: So, if you can find that article, and we'll put the link on this podcast.

Chris: Yea.

Umar: So other people can read it too

Chris: Yeah, I know exactly where it is.

Umar: So tell me about a deal that you saved from the jaws of death?

Chris: A deal. I mean it's pretty much..

Umar: Every day?

Chris: Every deal is saved from the jaws of death. I mean over the nine years since we started, or eight years, since we started Web Mechanics, it has gotten so super competitive.

Umar: Right

Chris: Like the previously it was just what we would call the six hundred a monthers or so who would yell and say "We'll do everything for five ninety nine", but like they're pretty easy to sell against or the bigger agencies. So we had this nice little sweet spot, but these days I'm telling you man it's fiercely competitive. Yeah and and I don't know that there's a deal that I have... I feel like every deal you have to save it.

Umar: So kind of goes back to what you said earlier like that deal you did with the person who shall not be named. That was a strategic move like I need somebody with lots of notoriety, high trust level to do those introductions and there are deals that no one else can take because they don't have that endorsement.

Chris: Yeah. And you know if I've ever saved a deal from the jaws of death otherwise. The way that I've done it is by essentially making guarantees. Put your money where your mouth is.

Umar: Performance. Another word the you've used a lot.

Chris: Because the thing is everybody says...Everybody that does search engine marketing is that they all talk the same game everybody sounds the same.

Umar: So, how do you distinguish yourself?

 Chris: Well I feel for the buyers honestly because they can't distinguish it either. They're just like "Whoa!" Well these guys sound the same. This guy wants ten grand a month. This guy is talking about five.. five hundred nine bucks a month like.

Umar: What's the disconnect?

Chris: Let's give this guy thousand but right yeah. So I do that in a couple of ways. I take a very educational approach I literally will open up my laptop. I'll say "Hey let's look at your website”, “Let’s get into your Google Analytics and let me show you some things”. And and I will show them things and sometimes get the comment "Oh my God, like I've been working with this agency for two years and they haven't showed me anything like this". So I think to differentiate really I tried to take an educational approach to demonstrate my you know my savviness

Chris: To tell stories

Umar: Right

Chris: And you know things like that. But at the end of the day sometimes it comes down to two things and I say “Look if it's price that's that's the issue don't let it be" because I will you know if this isn't a win for you it's not a win for us and we don't want you as a client. So, I have been known to make guarantees, which some people think is crazy, but hey I'm confident. We've got an excellent team and like ninety percent plus of our clients are happy. So, if it takes a little bit of risk to get the reward I'll do it.

Umar: Makes perfect sense. So looking at the sales profession as a whole now cuz this is a different landscape than it was ten years ago.

Chris: Yeah.

Umar: So what's the biggest challenge facing companies today as it comes to acquiring new clients selling?

Chris: So I think a couple of things. Most companies suck at marketing.

Umar: Me included.

Chris: So they have these gifted sales people who spend most of their time prospecting and setting appointments or running earlier points in qualifying so I think that that really is the biggest challenge for a lot of them and that's really what we do in our businesses like providing a steady lead of imbalance or steady flow of leads.

Umar: Flow of leads.

Chris: Yes. So your sales people can sell. Instead of whatever they're doing. Digging through the C.R.M. or the phone book and just...

Umar: Makes perfect sense

Chris: and making fifty calls a day.

Umar: Because on the flip side, consumers are doing all their research upfront before they even talk to a sales person so if you can be in that flow then you actually align with the customer's buying process.

Chris: Yeah and you know related challenge is that the sales and marketing conundrum.

Umar: yes

Chris: So, in order for the sales people to be free they need their marketers to perform right and in order for the marketers to post good returns they need the salesperson, but there's a silo.

Umar: Always. So, here’s a question for you that I've not asked anybody yet on these podcass. So what is the superset and what is a subset? Is sales the subset of marketing or vice versa?

Chris: That's a tough question you know. I think both of them are subsets of something called creating a customer.

Umar: Hmmm

Chris: So, I don't know that you can say one or the other because it's like the beginning of the process versus the end, but I think both of them are subsets on the same level of a different thing that's bigger.

Umar: Ok 

Chris: If that makes sense.

Umar: Cool. From my point of view I always saw it as marketing was a superset because they help identify what customer’s want, where the customers are, sometime. They suck at it- sorry marketers. And then the sales people do the execution. As soon as they do the execution it's back to marketing again to how do we keep that customer as part of our family and what we need to know and but yeah there's way too many companies where there's silos and bitter enemies

Chris: Yea

Umar: If only leads you gave me were better and it's like we give you all these leads and you guys suck at closing.

Chris: Right.

Umar: So, you have to set expectations for your salespeople when you've been in organizations we've got people that you answer to. So how would you advise someone that has a C suite that they need to answer to and they've got a bunch of sales people that need to execute. How do you set expectations for both groups in order that you get your job done?

Chris: See I think the key to that is common metrics. So if everybody is speaking the same language in terms of the metrics, and it doesn't have to be a lot of metrics, or a very fancy dashboard, but if everybody speaks the same in terms of metrics, Which in sales of might sound like appointments, opportunities, deals and pie, deals close why, deals close loss you know things like that. If everybody from the C level on down to the new sales guy and in between speaks the same language then it helps tremendously. And what you can do to really, to set expectations on both sides, is for the C suite have a simple report that's not long or not difficult to read, that just has your main numbers really front and center right so that you can create an understanding hey this is how we track success and then take those same exact numbers and stick them on the sales floor you know like if you're so inclined to have some kind of a dynamic dashboard where when people log stuff in C.R.M.it populates that's great. If you want to do an old school style just grab a whiteboard and start a tally, but that way everybody knows what the primary goals are and everybody knows where they're at at any given time

 Umar: Right. So, the same landscape. We're looking at say metrics. Makes perfect sense.

Chris: It's simple man. I like to keep things really simple.

Umar: So what's the best advice you've ever gotten?

Chris: Keep it simple. No, I'm just kidding man. Best advice I've ever gotten. That's really tough. I'd have to say. Oh that's it. When going into business, get a partner to do with you who has who's the Ying to your Yang. Who has the complimentary skill sets.

Umar: And you found that person.

Chris: I absolutely did I grew up with that person actually. So, my partner Arsham, I've known him since literally birth. I'm like six months old roughly and we've embarked on various entrepreneurial adventures over the years, but when I was getting ready to make an exit from agency life and start my own he happened to be graduating from college at that same time,

Umar: Nice.

Chris: And he was with a start-up at the time, but he was ready to leave so we said hey let's do it. And that Umar was probably the best advice I've ever gotten and the best decision that I've ever made.

Umar: Nice.

Chris: Because there's no way... I don't think... I mean maybe there's some businesses that can be run with a single partner, but in this business like I would have been dead in the water within a year if it weren't for that.

Umar: So nobody can be the visionary and the detail person for example.

Chris: Right. There's so much that goes into running a marketing shop.

Umar: A business? Especially when you've got like a bunch of folks. So how do you motivate your sales team?

Chris; You know honestly, we use a lot of your material. We use like visualizations. We use objects and like any time an appointment is set for instance

Umar: You ring a bell?

Chris: Back in the day we'd ring a bell. Now we only ring it when there's a sale and the operations team always gets like nervous because the bell rings. So we do a lot of motivation or a lot of you know visualization, a lot of kind a pep talks in the morning. And then we bring speakers in too.

Umar: Nice

Chris: Like we did with you.

Umar: And you've got a

Chris: We read.

Umar:.. having spoken here, it was like a really hungry group of people want to learn stuff which is really cool. Like how do we do better and that's kind of the culture here which is nice.

Chris: Yes, absolutely. One of the... one of our core values that's held up the best over the years is learnaholic because in our business you either learn or or you die.

Umar: You're toast.

Chris:  So, people that are attracted to work here are often times like learnaholics- true to form.

Umar: So, how important is the right mindset to selling?

Chris: Extremely important. Extremely, extremely important. It's probably the most important thing and this is something that as I grow I get much better at.

Umar: Right.

Chris: Because when we were first starting like I didn't... we didn't have a lot of customers we really didn't have a lot of case studies so we kind of had to fake it till we make it.

Umar: Right.

Chris: and and there are times where all go into a big deal to pitch and I'm a little nervous honestly like I'm slightly

Umar: Right

Chris:...intimidated. Like this is a five hundred million dollar company or a billion dollar company, but it's critically important to remember your value and to not underestimate or undersell yourself. I used to... we have this thing we call a newb syndrome. Which is when somebody is really new they automatically assume that everybody else knows more than they do but then as you grow you realize that nobody knows what they're doing.

Umar: Like in making soap they'll kick our butts, but in getting customers and marketing that's.. we dominate. Yeah absolutely.

Chris: Right right . So mindset is incredibly important. And it's important also to, this a part of mindset, but to not be overly needy or desperate like you have to be willing to walk away from any deal at any point.

Umar: Yup

Chris: And be fine with it and you know if that ruins your day then...

Umar: So be it. So that's just like being in or potential romantic relationships. If you're too needy and clingy people run away from you.

Chris: Absolutely.

Umar: And the people that don't you should run away from them.

Chris: And people are smart. People are intuitive. They can sense that.

Umar: Big time. So what's something you know now that you wish you knew ten years ago that would have helped you be a better leader better sales guy?

Chris: Add a zero. People will pay more than than what you typically think they will if you do a good job building the value behind something..

Umar: Yea.

Chris:.. if you have a good job understanding their unique scenario and putting something custom together just for them like they value it a lot so whatever price tag you have in mind

Umar: Add a Zero. So we do highlights of this is what you can learn on the podcast and that's going to be the number one piece of advice at a zero. So, is there. Part of your job is you know being a leader for this group of how many people in your company?

Chris: Thirty.

Umar: Thirty. So what's a piece of advice you would give other leaders to get the most out of their employees?

Chris: So I would say, and this is something that I'm learning right now, I'm not an... I'm not an expert of this, but this is like my latest leadership kind of thing is- focus. Limit the number of initiatives to like one or two initiatives.

Umar: Right.

Chris: Maybe one or two sub initiatives. But multitasking is not a good thing. People say I'm a great multi-tasker, that means you're wasting time. We had a consultant come in and we did this exercise where where we're like ripping paper. It's a long story.

Umar: But but it drove the point home.

Chris: But it demonstrated.. yes

Umar: I think there's a bunch of research now that shows multitasking actually makes sure that you do mediocre in a bunch of things

Chris: Right

Umar: Instead of just one

Chris: And as a leader, I think that most entrepreneur entrepreneurs have a tendency toward multitasking because when you're starting something you have to switch gears a lot and do many things

Umar: Do many things.

Chris: So as you grow you know you have you have a tendency to maintain that habit, but it doesn't work at a certain point you have to have focus because if you're scatterbrained all over the place then how do you think everybody else is going to feel right?

Umar: Right

Chris: So that's really my big thing.

Umar: So focus

Chris: Yea. And I've been focusing on focus for like a few weeks and already seeing a huge improvement.

Umar: Nice.

Chris: I don't remember what the exact question was, but...

Umar: That's close enough. What's something you share with other leaders and you were saying hey focus on a few things rather than multitask and do a bunch of stuff.

Chris: Yeah absolutely.

Umar: So Chris, as we wind this thing down, what's a must read book that salespeople or leaders should be reading?

Chris: Salespeople, my sales Bible is the new Conceptual Selling by Miller Hyman.

Umar: Right

Chris: You know..Are you familiar with?

Umar: No, I'll add it to my list.

Chris: It's right there on the shelf. It's the blue one with the red, but Robert Miller and I think Thomas Hyman.

Umar: Right

Chris: These guys, they break it down to a science. They provide, that book provides all types of tactical advice and like little planning worksheets. They really take their sales seriously. And it's written in you know nice succinct you know language that's easy to understand. So, that's my that's my number one sales book. Number one leadership book like things such as Good to Great come to mind.

Umar: Yes.

Chris: But there's another one. Well a couple others there's one called Make the Noise go Away and it's all about for a second in command like what a second in command should do for the C.E.O. to basically help them to ..

Umar: Focus

Chris: ..have that focus. And then there's there's one other one that I really like which is applicable for both sales and marketing which is called The Ultimate Guide to mental toughness and that's N.L.P. based.

Umar: Nice.

Chris: Yea, well it doesn’t. Actually, maybe it does mention NLP a couple times

Umar: But you can see it throughout

Chris: Yea, it compares the brain to a computer and the subconscious to like the deep memory and then the local RAM 

Umar: Right

Chris:. You know to the conscious mind and it gives it provides tools, basically N.L.P. techniques. But I was introduced to that long, long time ago and I set up this one routine which I still do to this day in my head and I'd like anchored it you know.

Umar: Nice 

Chris: So, yea that was an approachable... and your books are really good too. 

Umar: Chris, thanks so much for taking time today to have this conversation I got a lot out of it and I'm going to focus from now on.

Chris: Good, good yada                   

Umar: Thanks so much.

Chris: Thank you Umar.



EPISODE 005: NRG CEO and Founder Mike Weiner shares how being of service has doubled his sales

November 11, 2017

Mike is the founder and president of Network Referral Group (NRG). Mike is the author of The NRG Advantage, the definitive book of using referrals to grow your business.  He has guided thousands of salespeople and organizations to grow their revenue. 


Highlights from this podcast


  1. Serve not sell! Focus on people and their needs, instead of putting your own needs first. 
  2. Referrals are highly effective. It’s not who you know but who knows you! Enlist people to endorse you.
  3. Always aim high! If you don’t’ have a goal, there’s nothing you can shoot for.
  4. Each day ask yourself, "Am I moving further away from my dreams or closer." 
  5. Always follow up. Your word is your bond. 


Mike's LinkedIn profile

Here’s a transcript to the podcast:

Umar Hameed: Are you ready to become awesomer? Hi everyone this is Umar Hameed and welcome to the NO LIMIT SELLING podcast where we talk to the sales leaders, to get their insights on how to do better in sales and today I am privileged to have a MIKE WEINER, the president and founder of NRG. Mike, welcome to the show.

Mike Weiner: Umar, thanks for having me.

Umar Hameed: So Mike, in 90 seconds, tell us who you are and what you do.

Mike Weiner: Umar, I am the CEO and founder of NETWORK REFERRAL GROUP, started the company back in 2001, NRG is networking group committed to helping people grow their business through referrals and in a nut shell, I serve people and help them connect with people they have never met before, help them grow their business. I love what I do, I connect people everywhere and for me it’s all about serving people and helping them grow.

Umar Hameed: Brilliant. So Mike tell us who is your favorite superhero and why?

Mike Weiner: You know what Umar, I am gonna go back a little bit when I see speed racer drive a MACH 5, kind of a cartoon type of thing growing up for me, what I liked about speed racer who is always decisive, the car drove fast and it was kind of a clean cut guy. So I think I would go with the speed racer on that one.

Umar Hameed: So decisive is really important to you.

Mike Weiner: Very decisive, yes.

Umar Hameed: So, what motivates Mike?

Mike Weiner: You know what motivates me Umar, is I had built NRG very strong, had some challenges, health challenges also financial challenges and recession. Remember that little recession we had?

Umar Hameed: Oh, yeah.

Mike Weiner: So I am kind of like that Rocky Balboa of networking and Cal Ripkin because of the consistency and persistency which challenges me to get back to where I was before and then go way past it. I just love connecting people, help them grow and getting back to where I was and even beyond.

Umar Hameed: Nice. So getting back to where you were motivates you get up in the morning.

Mike Weiner: Absolutely, absolutely.

Umar Hameed: Who is your mentor?
Mike Weiner: You know what, I have got three mentors and guess I need to send you a cheque in the mail Umar. I would say Umar Hameed is one of my mentors. Umar helped me with his NLP where he helps people get through block, then there was something from high school, you were able to help me get through and then couple minutes later, break the board that you have at your seminars.

Umar Hameed: Brilliant. Who else?

Mike Weiner: The other two, I would say, Raphael, he has taught me a lot about how to serve people and it’s been amazing, it’s changed my mind set for serving and then Dr. David Silvermen, he is my mentor with CA, which is health and wellness project that has completely transformed me, gave me more energy, clarity and enables me to work through people and help them out.

Umar Hameed: So Mike, if you could have lunch with anybody that is living from history, who would you like to have lunch and what would you ask them?

Mike Weiner: Zig Ziglar, he is the legend in the sales.

Umar Hameed: He is a giant.

Mike Weiner: He is a giant and he passed away not that long ago. I would say Zig because of his passion his insightfulness, I mean he is a genius, and if I could sit down with him for an hour, I would love that opportunity.

Umar Hameed: Brilliant. So what was your first sales job Mike?

Mike Weiner: First sales job, outside sales job was selling thermal fax machines back in the late 80s to the mid 90s, the products were around three grand. People didn’t even know what they were, they didn’t think you know, you could send a message over a phone line and I remember I just threw myself in that and did very well. I was like number nine out of nine reps when I started and eventually became number one.

Umar Hameed: That’s brilliant. What’s a best deal you have ever done?

Mike Weiner: You know what, I would say one of the best deals that I have ever done, there is a very large staffing company here in Baltimore and I called on them like four years, network purchasing fixture, couple of babies along the way and eventually I end up selling four copier, now some people will say that’s crazy, but It was very, it was on my hit list, it’s one of the those elephants we say.

Umar Hameed: It sounds like you have to win.

Mike Weiner: I had to win and finally I got in there with like fourth visit and I was able to start to help them out.
Umar Hameed: Brilliant.

Mike Weiner: Absolutely.

Umar Hameed: So who was the best sales manager that you had and what attribute did they possess that spoke to you?

Mike Weiner: Yeah, I had a sales manager named Ron years ago and when I went for the interview I was 23 years old and he had also these papers on his desk and he said sell me the paper clip and I said Ron, you know what, what if there is a way to organize all those papers in a systematic way? What if there was a way that you could put your phone calls in one packet and then you could put your prospects in another would that be of use to you? So I sold him the paper clip and I got the job.

Umar Hameed: That’s good.

Mike Weiner: Isn’t that cool?

Umar Hameed: It’s cool. So I know you are a Jew, but tell me about ‘come to Jesus moment’ for you, where you have to change what you were doing and get this new mind set to move forward.

Mike Weiner: You know what, I have been in and out of Corporate America couple of times, with the economy and everything and about late in 2016 I left Corporate America, came back to NRG and go full time and I decided, I was really gonna need to increase my social media skills. So I was on LinkedIn, I was on Facebook. I was able to really start to grow there. I met my publisher there, wrote my first book THE NRG ADVANTAGE, but I think in my 50s now, I needed to be able to get the mind set of how to utilize social media, I have a lot of success now.

Umar Hameed: So looking at sales profession, like selling today, is different than it was even five years ago.

Mike Weiner: Absolutely.

Umar Hameed: What is the biggest challenge in sales today, in selling, today?

Mike Weiner: You know what I think, it is, it’s not anymore who you know, it’s who knows you, and that’s the whole power of my NRG, would where we give you the power partners of the industry, and name counts. Pinball was getting people connected and I think getting infront of the right people, because there are so many layers and lets face it you get voice jail a lot, you call somebody and lot of times text messages are more effective going through as long as you have cell numbers you can go through that way. So I would say the technology, the way we approach people and really enlisting other people help endorse you to get in there.

Umar Hameed: Brilliant. It’s all about relationships and credibility.

Mike Weiner: It’s all about relationships. Absolutely.

Umar Hameed: So how do you set expectations for your sales team?

Mike Weiner: I think it’s really important, I have also used Sunday night as a; I remember back even in my thermal fax days I would sit down and do a forecast of who I expected to bring aboard. That’s the same way that I train people on my team, it’s very important to know what you are going after, if you don’t have a goal, there is nothing you can shoot for, and I always taught people shoot for goals high, so that if you shoot for, if you are shooting to make 150,000 a year and you fall short to 125, that is better than shooting for 125 and falling down to 85. So shoot for the stars, you got nothing to lose and I have a saying IF YOU KNEW YOU COULDN’T FAIL, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Umar Hameed: I will ask you a next question, that’s what I would do?

Mike Weiner: (laughs)

Umar Hameed: So what is the best advice you ever got Mike?

Mike Weiner: I think, the best advice really has come in last couple of months, it was MIKE WEINER ITS TIME TO STOP SELLING, IT’S TIME TO START SERVING PEOPLE. What do people need, what do people want, focusing on them, not focusing on my needs, but focusing on them, coz in sales, find the need and fill it, that’s truly is sales over simplified.

Umar Hameed: So when people are hiring sales people…

Mike Weiner: Umhmmm

Umar Hameed: Sales people look pretty, they are good at talking and their resume is a brilliant work of fiction.

Mike Weiner: (laughs) absolutely, huge.

Umar Hameed: How do you know you are hiring the right sales person?

Mike Weiner: That is maybe your hardest question that you asked me today. I think, you know, as far as what I have done is, you need to put people through a sample trial, 30 days, 60 days. You are right, they look good, smell good, they come dressed in beautiful clothes and you think you have got some really good. There is an old saying, you might have a firm grip on an empty sack, meaning they are really not there; they are kind of rolling through.

Umar Hameed: Right.

Mike Weiner: So, I think, it’s important, testimonials are vital, you need to talk to people that you both know, that are credible, that are not gonna steer you wrong, but I think in lot of situations I would run a trial with them. You know, we are gonna go 60 days, we are gonna evaluate at 30, we are gonna evaluate 60, if this is not fit for both of us, we shake hands, remain friends and move on.

Umar Hameed: Brilliant, simple and to point.

Mike Weiner: Exactly, exactly.

Umar Hameed: So you probable had times in your sales career where you were in a slump or you had a lot of thing going wrong.

Mike Weiner: Umhmm..

Umar Hameed: How do you bounce back? How do you snap out of that? Move forward?

Mike Weiner: The serving attitude that I have now has really helped out but prior to that, going back, I would do a lot so self talk, there is a book by Dr. SHAD HELMSTETTER – HOW TO TALK TO YOUR SELF and WHAT TO SAY WHEN YOU TALK TO YOURSELF. 77% of the people are saying to themselves in negative and bad. GOSH, ITS COLD OUT TODAY. GOSH I WISH MY SPOUSE TO DO THIS. GOSH ARE THE KIDS EVER GONNA CLEAN THEIR ROOM. I have a saying, are you moving closer to your dream or further away and I would do a lot of self talk, a lot of self affirmation. Possible pop in ROCKY BALBOA theme THE ROCKY , music can do it, song like DANGER ZONE from KENNY LOGGINS. You know you use music, use environment or sometimes you just need to meditate and just buy yourself quiet and have a conversation with the Man above.

Umar Hameed: Nice. So how important is mind set to selling?

Mike Weiner: Mind set is vital. I would rather have some more of the great mind set and limited product knowledge. Product knowledge can always be taught, mind set is the hard part because people sometimes with lot of negative things going on the news and so forth, they get drawn down. So mind set, to me, your attitude controls your altitude, and you gotta be positive, you gotta be upbeat, even when I wake up from, you know, not feeling well or bad day. I am gonna smart myself right through it and usually it takes less muscles to smile than it does to frown. So you have gotta cone out with a system, I think it’s music, I think its affirmation, its being friendly, its being upbeat, remembering we are on the right side of the soil.

Umar Hameed: So Mike, what something you know now that you wish you knew ten years ago that would have made a difference?

Mike Weiner: You know what because I was in office equipment industry and the training was very intense. Sell, sell, don’t give up, ABC- Always be closing. Take a little step back from that, people do not want to be sold these days; they wanna feel like they made a purchase. So I would think really more on serving, asking a lot of questions. If you ask a question you stay in control, but even more importantly then that is, find out the information you need and if you ask the right question even more importantly, they are gonna tell you exactly what you are gonna need to do to bring them aboard as a client.

Umar Hameed: A smart man knows the answer; a wise man knows which question to ask.

Mike Weiner: Exactly, exactly. So makes you wonder about the questions we ask our girlfriend back in high school (laughs).

Umar Hameed: Are you sure you like me?

Mike Weiner: (laughs)

Umar Hameed: So what’s the best business advice you have ever received?

Mark Weiner: The best business advice I have ever received, follow up. In a world where sales people are always in a follow up, if you would have follow up you would have got the deal. It’s imperative if you tell someone, you are gonna do something, your word is a bond, and as soon as you have broken that, it’s gone, it’s over, they may forgive you somewhat, but if you tell someone you gonna follow, I don’t care what your system is, database, reminder on your phone, a tickler system, whatever it is , if you tell someone you are gonna do something, you gotta follow up. Most of the times when I was selling copiers, the fax equipment, I would get the deal because I was the only one left standing, my competitors have probably quit by then.

Umar Hameed: Right.

Mark Weiner: So follow ups are vital.

Umar Hameed: And that tickler system thing, I think HR has some issues but that is a different story.

Mike Weiner: (laughs).

Umar Hameed: So what advice would you give leaders, to be better leaders?

Mark Weiner: Everyone tends to talk the same talk…

Umar Hameed: Umhmm..

Mark Weiner: Walk the walk, I mean, go out there and lead in performance in every industry. In this country whether it’s a pharmacist or political or athlete, people watch you, people really really watch you and the man upstairs watches you. What are you doing when nobody is watching you? Are you doing the right thing? Are you being ethical or moral? You should not be on a sales appointment saying ‘You should buy from me coz I am modest’, that puts a big, BIG RED FLAG, to me those are the things that should already be there, those are the things I learnt from my Mom and Dad growing up. So you wanna do the right things all the time, 100% of the time without fail.

Umar Hameed: So if you had a sales person come up to you and say, ‘You know, How can I do better’? What advice do you give him?

Mark Weiner: You know what I would do, I would, I would say, when you say ‘How can I do better’? in relation to what? What are you trying to accomplish?

Umar Hameed: To get clarity..

Mark Weiner: Get clarity, coz how can I do better, there may be a new man (12:25) there may be the top guy, but everyone can do better. So you need to find out whether that, what are they when they say, ‘better’, is that more client? Is that more revenue? Is that more referral? You clarify it absolutely.

Umar Hameed: Brilliant. Also true with customers. Sometimes customers say something and if you assume you know what that means, you might be barking at wrong tree and I need better (12:47) how would you know you are getting better service, oh I, I would know if they give you clarity. So ask questions, get clarity. Last question Mike, What’s must read book you recommend everybody read?

Mike Weiner: Two books. The NRG ADVANTAGE which is my book. I am an over achiever. The first seven chapters are about networking. Chapter eight Creating mass momentum, which is vital in anything you do. Chapter nine is closing more sales. Chapter ten is consistency and persistency. The other I probably would say is WILLIE JOLLEY – SETBACK IS A SETUP FOR COMEBACK. We all had them, I had them and many who are listening in. Feel free to reach out and I will tell you some of my challenges. It’s not the challenge; it’s how you handle it.

Umar Hameed: So, number one deciding factor, how well you do is, able to rebound.

Mark Weiner: Exactly.

Umar Hameed: If somebody knocks you down or life knocks you down, how quickly you get back up and keep moving.

Mike Weiner: Exactly.

Umar Hameed: Mike thanks so much for sitting down with me, I really enjoyed the interview.
Mike Weiner: My pleasure. Thank you, Umar.




EPISODE 004: Sharon Nevins, Vice President of Advertising The Baltimore Sun Media Group

October 18, 2017

Sharon is the VP of Advertising at The Baltimore Sun Media Group. Sharon is a fearless sales professional because her father raised her that way. He instilled a "Go for it!" attitude that still serves her today.

Sharon is a driving force at the Baltimore Sun to transform an old media company into a digital powerhouse that helps its clients win business in this competitive landscape. 


Highlights from this podcast


1. Great ideas get funded even when there is no budget. So salespeople, be creative!

2. Leadership is a mindset, not a title

3. Before you take a new sales job make sure they are ready for the change you will bring to their organization.


Sharon's contact info